As graduation season is beginning to ramp up and we’re sending out orders to schools and universities around the country, we find ourselves wondering how other countries celebrate such a momentous occasion in a young person’s life. From throwing caps in the air to dousing graduates with ketchup and glitter, here’s a look at some graduation traditions done around the world.
In the US, we often celebrate graduates by hosting parties around the time of the ceremony. Just your typical BBQ and a relaxed atmosphere -- Not in Sweden! Rather than separate parties, graduates are put on a pedestal -- well, floats -- and treated like celebrities during a city-wide celebratory parade! But, not before their parents make sure to embarrass them a little bit by showing up to the ceremony with large posters containing their childhood photos. C’mon, It’s a rite of passage for parents!
In Argentina, embarrassing photos just won’t cut it for families of graduates. Instead, they prefer forms of public humiliation, like dousing them in messy food products like ketchup, cream, and syrup. That’s one way to stand out in the crowd! Similar celebrations are known to be done in Italy and Oxford as well.
In Russia, graduates celebrate “Last Bell” which occurs in between final exams and the graduation ceremony. The school bell represents the start of class -- September 1st ringing in students for the first time in 1st grade, and May 25th ringing for the last time for high school students. In Russia, students from grade 1-11 typically study under the same roof. The celebration is a nationwide holiday and female students wear black dresses with white aprons as a nod to school uniforms dating back to the USSR.
We’ll continue to share more graduation traditions from around the world as the season picks up! For now, we feel happy knowing US traditions don’t involve condiments on anything other than our food :)