Rotten yoghurt? Sailor caps? Tzar-era apparel? What do these totally bizarre and seemingly unrelated things have in common? They are all part of graduation traditions from different parts of the world. As students across the world graduate from high school and university this spring, let’s take a moment to pause, reflect, and highlight some of the most bizarre (and fun!) graduation traditions!
No, that’s not the ghost of Christmas Past. Graduates in Italy often done massive laurel wreaths that are so reminiscent of the ancient Greeks and Romans that even Cesar himself would be proud.
Students in South Korea typically pelt each other with flour and eggs after graduation. Sometimes the tradition can get a bit intense as students turn to pouring paint on textbooks, or even burning their books, and cutting up their school uniforms.
“The Last Bell” is a celebration of the last school bell Russian students will ever hear. It’s typical to see Russian students wearing Miss America type sashes for graduation, as well as traditional tzar-era-style black and white dresses. They line up in front of the school to let all the other students know they’re outta there and then head off to go celebrate.
Food fight! Ketchup, rotten milk, pepper…basically every disgusting gooey food product you can imagine is pelted at Argentinian students after their very last final exam. What better way to say “congrats” to a friend or family member than covering them in rotten yoghurt?
We saved the most bizarre for last! Swedish high school graduates wear sailor hats, sashes, and stuffed animal necklaces as their graduation apparel. After school they emerge from their institution chanting, and singing while their families hold giant signs with pictures of the graduates’ baby photos. Then, the graduates climb into makeshift parade floats (a.k.a. pickup trucks) and drive through the town for hours. The parade trucks make frequent stops at the town’s public fountains for the graduates to take a swim and then climb back aboard for more partying.