In Estonia, school begins on September 1, which in Estonian is known as: esimene (1.) september . This year, that day happened to be a laupäev(Saturday). So what happened? Some schools chose to have their ava/aktus(opening ceremony) on the following esmaspäev(Monday), but a lot stuck by their 1. septembri traditsioonand gathered on Saturday morning with lilled (flowers) to give to their teachers.
After a brief official greeting, students went off for a short klassi/tund (class lesson) with their klassi/juhataja or primary teacher (as opposed to aine/õpetaja , who is the teacher of a specific subject). Next year esimene september is a püha/päev (Sunday) and the same will apply. At least you will never forget the date, and 5 years out of 7, it’s a breeze.
Alongside is a photo of kaante/kleepsud (stickers for book covers). These are often used for easy identification of various õpikud (textbooks) and töö/vihikud (workbooks). In this case, the first letters of the subjects are similar to the symbols of chemical elements, as they appear in the keemiliste elementide perioodilisus/tabel(periodic table). Or like the S on a soola/toos (salt shaker) and P on that of pipar , since ultimately what õppe/ained (subjects) you like at kool is a matter of taste (maitse asi ).
You can also hand write the name of the subject, your own name and other relative information (name of school, grade, year) on the cover of such books, but in either case, you MUST first wrap the books in paper, treating them as if they were gifts, which they are! Punane (red) for Estonian language and literature, sinine (blue) for matemaatika , roheline (green) for biology, and in the case of our school: oranž for German, valge (white) for English, kollane (yellow) for music and lilla (purple) for history. It’s a task which takes quite a lot of practice. Check out the instructional videos on You Tube: “Vihikule paberi ümber panemine” ja “Õpiku kiletamine” . It’s a ritual that was practiced in over a hundred thousand homes all over Eesti at the beginning of this past week.
Photo and text: