9 Aug 2011

The First Day of School

 { The SchultüteTradition}

I usually do not write long posts but as  today is the first day of school in Hessen (different regions in Germany have different vacation times and hence different starting dates) I would like to tell you about a wonderful German ( and I believe Austrian) tradition which all Schulanfanger (School goers – applies only to first grade students) are looking forward to – the Schultüte (Schoolbag), easily the symbol of the 1st day of school, possibly the most important day in the life of any six year old.

This morning on the way to our Kindergarten I saw many little people, with proud faces and school bags as big as themselves…a lovely reminder of my first day at school many, many, many years ago ( although not in Germany) and also a less lovely reminder of how quickly time flies and how quickly our kids grow.

Well let me tell you about the school bag – (no it is not the actual school bag), this one is a very big cone made out of cardboard and embellished in some kind of way. They are sold almost everywhere in the last few months before the new school year. According to Wikipedia the tradition goes back to 1810 and the only thing that seems to have changed since than is that less and less sweets can be found in the bag. Well, that is only partially true as the bag is still seen as a treat although many parents try to reflect in its contents the step towards independence with the start of the new school year.

Kids say that it is not fun if the Schultüte contains only the items necessary for school and therefore inside one can find anything from a car shaped alarm clock, watch, water bottle, a compass for the great adventure that school is, to the first nail polish, glitter glue, key chain pendant and little stuffed animals. And always there is a fair amount of lollies, chocolate and other kinds of sweeties.

Enough reading, now I would like to share with you some photos of some absolutely unique and cool hand created Schultüten I found on the web. The themes of the bags could vary greatly from football and unicorns, to fast cars and cowboys, to nature and planets, to princesses and pirates, believe me I even saw one which came with a matching dress:

Lovely themes Planets and Space and Bees and Nature – photo courtesy of Anke Lilli

One for the polka dot lover – have I ever mentioned I love polka dots? Photo courtesy of byFranca

Of course one with horses, how could I forget the horses – lovely! The little girls' face says it all! Photo courtesy of Bab's Bumblebee

A very cool one for the dinosaur lover or the budding explorer - I love the name detail, it makes it so much more personal! Photo courtesy of 3@12

And my favourite one - a real rocket Schultüte – and one very pleased and proud boy! Photo courtesy of Bab's Bumblebee

If you had the patience and the time to read through than I hope you enjoyed this little story about how German kids start their school life.

Hope you are having a lovely week!

Irina xx


  1. Hi Irina - I guess I am a little late getting back to you. Sorry, it has been a long day for us. I can still send you a picture if you like.

  2. Hi, I really didn't know that other countries do not have the Schultüte, it's so normal to me and I also remember my first day - and my Schultüte was the most important thing. Luises is still in her room hanging beside the window. I helped with the Büffett at our school and actually there were some foreign children without Schultüte, a little bit depressing for me - obviously they didn't know about the Schultüte, see you. Anja

  3. What an amazing tradition...can't say that I've ever heard of it, but I think it's an awesome way to start school life! The polkadot one is, of course, my favourite :)

  4. That is such a lovely tradition, my firstborn will start school in january which is the beginning of our school year. I may have to do something like that for him. Such a lovely idea!

  5. It's a great tradition isn't it?! And the fact that the whole family celebrates the child's first day at school makes it really special.

  6. They're massive! What a great tradition - I wish somebody would give me one of these for the first day of... hmmmm, not sure, the first day of the rest of my life?! Really sweet.

  7. What a completely lovely tradition & gorgeous idea with all those beaming, happy children. I'd be boring & fill my children's up with pencils & stationery, my children don't really like lollies, my son would love one filled with mandarins!! I just think this idea is delightful & such a gorgeous way to commence the school experience. My youngest is in 2nd grade now & yes, time flies, my eldest is in high school. Gorgeous to meet you & find this sweet blog. Love Posie

  8. hello...thanks for follow our little virtual outlet...;)...its always fine to meet new creative people here...all the best for your business and much more...cheers and hugs...i...

  9. I love that tradition ... we did it one year and my kids thought it was so fun.

  10. Hi Irina, sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I'm happy you stopped by my blog and thank you for the sweet comment. I love the ones you are posting here. Next year I totally have to make the horse one for my daughter and the dinosaur for my son!!! Thanks for the inspiration :)


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