Пе́рвое сентября́! (the 1st of September) – a phrase which horrifies every Russian from 7 years old, and makes the eye of a parent twitch. Life will never be the same after one had Первое сентября in their life.
So, what is so scary about the first day of Autumn (о́сень)?
It is a day when Russian children go to school (шко́ла) for the first time, or return to class after a long break (кани́кулы).
Russian каникулы are quite long: they begin on the 25th of May, and now you know, when they finish.
Who wants the summer (ле́то) to end, full of adventures, and go back to the school desk, homework, test and exams?
What makes the Russian 1st of September special? People make a festivity out of this day!
The preparation for school starts at least 2 weeks before. One of the challenges – is to get flowers. All the children (де́ти) must bring flowers (цветы́). But the demand is so extraordinary that there are wild queues and barbaric prices. I have quite a painful memory when I missed all the event just because my grandma forgot our flowers and we had to go back for them (even though now I realise my teacher (учи́тель) would have been ok with 29 bunches instead of 30).
The event itself is marvellous: outside the school, in the school yard, there is a so called лине́йка (a line), made of all classes from 1st to 11th; a concert, speeches of management. My favourite part is Пе́рвый Звоно́к (The First Bell) – when a tall and strong male student of 11th class carries on his shoulder a tiny, fragile girl of the 1st class, ringing a bell.
Then each student (учени́к) of the 11th class takes the hand of a new student of the 1st class to accompany him/her to school, to the new life, and the connection of times and generations carries on.
As you can see from this video, this day is not really so terrible, in fact it is very beautiful, and the cute little ducklings these days are confident and quite excited about school!
Пе́рвое сентября́ The 1st of September
Лине́йка Lines of children during the 1st of September
Пе́рвый Звоно́к The First Bell
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