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First Day of School Traditions Around The Globe
11 Jul 2019IDEASBY SweetEscape

In this episode, we would like to bring you a segment that many of us has and can relate to... The very first day of school! Depending on where you are, there might or might not be traditions to celebrate this day. And for those of you who are aware or have experienced these traditions, we're here to let you in on other traditions that you might not have known of. You might wonder, why is there even such a thing as first day of school traditions, and what is it for? It's purpose is noneother than to motivate and excite the kids who will be starting their school year. Keep in mind, these first day of school traditions vary from as early as elementary and all the way up to college/university, meaning that the idea of school traditions is not age-restricted to just one age group. With that said, have a look at some of the noteworthy first day of school traditions we have put together below!

1. Indonesia

Our first stop is in the southeastern asian nation, Indonesia. In this country, its a tradition especially for the public schools of the country to gather the kids together to be divided into a number of peer groups. This activity is referred to as the orientation phase of school, where the divided groups are mentored by a number or seniors from the school to lead a number of activities and exercises for the new students to follow.

by William S. for SweetEscape in Jakarta
by William S. for SweetEscape in Jakarta

This tradition is also known to help the new students get to know their new peers in an engaging way, enabling them to make friendships ready for the school to commence. Although it was most commonly applied in universities, the tradition has spread down to lower level schools such as elementary schools.

by William S. for SweetEscape in Jakarta

2. Japan

The first day of school tradition in Japan is slightly similar to that of Indonesia's tradition. However, instead of being grouped and mentored by senior students, the new students are greeted and mentored on the first day of school by theyayoi (Japanese for teacher) in a welcoming ceremony which is held during the month of April every year. Aside from that, the students are given a special lunchbox of rice with seaweed sauce and quail eggs. This tradition is believed to bring good luck for the kids throughout their school year. A yummy way to start the day, indeed!

by Deby for SweetEscape in Tokyo
by Deby for SweetEscape in Tokyo

As would many other academic institutions, the principal would give an opening speech and commentaries regarding the school as an introduction for the students. After the ceremony commonly held in the gym ends, students are then welcomed in a more personal manner in the hallways of the school, where it welcoming party continues further into the designated classrooms. The students are also greeted by a song sung by the seniors of the school as a welcoming token.

by Deby for SweetEscape in Tokyo

3. Russia

Next on our list, the Russians sure do have a way of motivating the new kids for commencing their first-ever school experience. One of their most kept traditions require the new students to bring flowers for their new teachers - talk about a sweet beginning!

by Sofia for SweetEscape in Moscow
by Sofia for SweetEscape in Moscow

You're probably wondering, the teachers receive colorful flowers from the children... but what do they get in return? Don't worry, it's not a one way gift-giving tradition. The children are given balloons by their teachers in return! As we all know, children are all about the colorful and exciting things in life, and balloons just give off that happiness effect for them.

by Sofia for SweetEscape in Moscow

4. Germany

Bringing you to our fourth unique tradition, the Germans' tradition for their kids' first day of school sure do spoil them rotten for their first day. The kids are given a large paper cone (like that of an ice cream but much bigger), consisting of school supplies, candies and various presents.

by Sophia for SweetEscape in Munich
by Sophia for SweetEscape in Munich

This symbolic tradition is to "sweeten" their children's school life, as they will be in school for a very long time! What a thoughtful tradition, Germany!

by Sophia for SweetEscape in Munich

5. Amsterdam

Just as you would have expected, the Hollanders really have a way with making the lives of their citizens more colorful and vibrant in all aspects. Most certainly not leaving out their school children, this last but not least tradition is certainly one that deserves attention!

by Roos for SweetEscape in Amsterdam
by Roos for SweetEscape in Amsterdam

In Amsterdam's schools, the children first arrive in school sitting in a large box or basket that is attached to a cargo bike. This tradition has been kept in order to excite the children for going to and from school, ensuring them to start school in the best mood possible.

by Roos for SweetEscape in Amsterdam

Whether your school has traditions or not, the first day of school is always an important and memorable day! Let SweetEscape capture the moment for you! We capture any occasion, any time, anywhere by connecting you to a growing network of photographers in 500+ cities around the world, and your photos will be ready for download in 48 hours after the session via the SweetEscape app and our website. Book your session today and let's #MakeLifeMemorable!