Gallery: How Back to School Is Celebrated Around the World

September 5, 2017, 4:15 PM UTC

The day after Labor Day means the summer is officially over and school season is in full swing. Today marks the first day of school for many kids in the United States.

In fall 2017, about 50.7 million students will attend public elementary and secondary schools, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. That’s 100,000 more than last fall’s enrollment. Public school systems will employ about 3.2 million full-time teachers, helping an expected 3.6 million students to graduate from high school this year.

Many greet the first day of school with nerves, smiles or tears. Students in a Forbach school in eastern France had a special visitor to kick off the first day of school: President Emmanuel Macron made an appearance to greet the primary schoolers and to get them excited for the year ahead. In Russia and Ukraine, the first day of school is celebrated as Knowledge Day. Students traditionally give a bouquet of flowers to their teachers and receive a colorful balloon in return. Kids release their balloons in the air to celebrate the start of the new year.