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Kids & Culture: End of School Celebrations in Eastern Europe and Russia


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As schools across the USA prepare for the summer break, schools in several Eastern European nations and Russia are also celebrating end of year festivities. The end of year celebration is known as последний звонок (posledni svonok) or last bell. Traditionally during this ceremony, boys wear suits or formal attire, while girls wear the traditional school uniform of dark skirts and white aprons. The celebrations are sometimes accompanied by singing songs, speeches, poem recitation, and the symbolic ringing of the last bell usually by a first grader.

The event is especially significant for school leavers (the graduating class), as the ringing of the last bell symbolizes the last bell of their academic careers. The graduating class is sometimes clad in colorful sashes, denoting their status, and celebrates this day with a traditional waltz between students and teachers, and sometimes by releasing balloons into the air.