The Glavarchive stores documents about how the first day of September became a holiday – the Day of Knowledge.
In Russia, until the 1930s, there was no single date for the beginning of the school year. Some schools and universities could schedule it for the end of August, mid-September or October, rural schools often opened only on December 1. However, most educational institutions were organized at churches that started classes on the day of the New Year according to the Orthodox calendar-September 1. Officially, this date was recorded only in 1935.
The date of the beginning of studies was solemnly celebrated in the post-war period. In the Glavarchiv, you can see a certificate from the school department, where it is indicated that on September 1, students put on uniforms in girls ‘ schools, breakfast was supposed to be served to pupils in all institutions, and gifts were distributed to first-graders in most schools.
Gradually, on September 1, their own traditions appeared and took root: for example, it became customary to start the school year with a solemn line, where students were congratulated by the director, war and labor veterans, graduates of previous years. Also, special attention was paid to those who just came to school. In many schools, the school year officially began after a first-grader on the shoulder of a future graduate rang a brass bell. These traditions of the holiday have come down to our days.
Especially for the Day of Knowledge, we developed a script and design options for classes. In many schools, parents were invited to lectures about curricula and programs. And the students participated in conversations and quizzes, among which were, for example, “How Volodya Ulyanov studied”, “Octobrats in the country of October” and others.
On June 15, 1984, September 1 became the National Day of Knowledge. It began to be celebrated not only in schools, but also in universities, where first-year students and students were congratulated.