Knowledge Day (Russian: День Знаний), often simply called 1st of September, is the day when the school year traditionally starts in Russia and many other former Soviet republics. This day also marks the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. It has special significance for the incoming class of first graders who come to school for the first time and often participate in a celebratory assembly on this date. The day also involves the First Bell (Первый Звонок) where a first grade girl is lifted on the shoulders of a 12th grade male pupil, and paraded around, ringing the first bell of the school year. Students in other grades may begin studies on September 1 or a few days later, usually without any special festivities.