First Day of School around the World

The first week back at school is almost over!

We take a look at how children around the world begin their journey, from traditional, sweet-filled cones to side stepping a stream of water poured by proud parents.


In Germany, children head out of the door on their first day with a giant, colourful Schultüte or “school cone” filled with all sorts of treats and yummy sweets. This tradition is over 200 years old, when children about to start school were told the legend of the tree that grows Schultüten in every teacher’s garden. Try making your own here!



In Bulgaria, parents spill a glass of water in front of their child before they leave the house. This is supposed to bring good luck on their first day at school and to ensure everything runs smoothly ‘like water’.


Japanese students are presented with a traditional leather randoserus or backpack which has been passed down through generations of families. It’s packed with a special first day lunch of rice, seaweed sauce and quail eggs, believed to bring good luck.



The first day of school in Italy is filled with colour, as students tie ribbons to their coats. Each year has its own colour, starting with red in reception, then onwards to pink, to blue and to green until finally, in 5th grade, they reach green, white and red – the colors of the Italian flag.


When Israeli children start first grade, or kita aleph, they enter the school under a special canopy decorated with streamers or through an archway formed by older students.



The traditional opening of the school year in Russia is known as the ‘Day of Knowledge.’ Students arrive with bundles of flowers for their teacher, who then arranges them into large bouquets. Girls decorate their hair with beautiful white ribbons that and the ringing of the “first bell” marks the official start of the new school year, opening the road to knowledge.

03 Sep 2014, Russia --- ITAR-TASS: RYAZAN, RUSSIA. SEPTEMBER 1, 2014. First grade students at a school line up during the start of a new school year on Knowledge Day in Ryazan. (Photo ITAR-TASS/ Alexander Ryumin) --- Image by © Alexander Ryumin/ITAR-TASS Photo/Corbis

Find more images of the first day of school around the wold here!


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