Tomorrow is the first day of school for six-year-old children in Baden-Wuerttemberg, the part of Germany where I live. It’s thought of as a big day in their lives, and to celebrate it, we have a special tradition that reaches back to the year 1810:
Children receive a “Schultuete” (“school bag”) from their parents (and/or grandparents or godparents). The Schultuete is a big cone made of colored cardboard and with pretty decorations. It’s filled with candy, cookies, and chocolates to sweeten the first day in school.
Nowadays, in addition or instead of the sweets, parents often put crayons, pens, toys, or other small gifts in the Schultuete.
Quite often, the Schultuete is larger than the excited kid clutching it, making for very cute photos. :-)