Knowledge Day (Russian: День Знаний), often simply called 1st of September, is the day when the school year traditionally starts in Russia and many other former Soviet republics.
This day also marks the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. It has special significance for the incoming class of first graders who come to school for the first time and often participate in a celebratory assembly on this date. The day also involves the First Bell (Первый Звонок) where a first grade girl is lifted on the shoulders of a 12th grade male pupil, and paraded around, ringing the first bell of the school year. Students in other grades may begin studies on September 1 or a few days later, usually without any special festivities.
September 1 has an iconic cultural status in the Russian-speaking world and is immediately recognized there primarily in connection with beginning of the school year. For instance, a well-known rhymed slogan is 1st of September is the red day in the calendar ("red" meaning special, первое сентября - красный день календаря).
There is also "Last School-Bell Day" (End of the year).
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