Knowledge Day

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A typical knowledge day in Russia

Knowledge Day (Russian: День Знаний), often simply called 1 September, is the day when the school year traditionally starts in Russia and many other former Soviet republics as well as other countries in the former Eastern Bloc (excluding Romania which falls on September 11 and the former East Germany varies in a coordinated fashion.) and Israel.


Knowledge Day originated in the USSR, where it had been established by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of 15 June 1984.[1] 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). Students in other grades may begin studies on September 1 or a few days later, usually without any special festivities.

1 September has an iconic cultural status in the Russian-speaking world and is immediately recognized there primarily in connection with the beginning of the school year.

In Israel, Knowledge Day is observed on 1 September. Due to immigration of the former Soviet families to Israel, it is observed as such.

There is also "Last School-Bell Day" (End of the year).


  1. ^ Указ Президиума ВС СССР от 15.06.1984 N 373-XI "Об объявлении 1 сентября всенародным праздником - Днем знаний"

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