The Mongolian academic year kicks off on September 1, even if it falls on a Sunday.
Surely there is variation in how this is celebrated across the country, and possibly from school to school. Here’s what I saw at School #5: Just after 8am, students arrived to school wearing their uniforms. Many of the younger students’ parents were there. Two senior students (my students!) were MCs. The principal and the representative from the Education Department (my CP) gave speeches. There were performances galore, including the traditional морин хуур (horse fiddle, this instrument has just two strings and is played with a bow). According to my CP, a song sung by a boy included the lyrics, “teachers, who hold the pens, you are God.” For the finale, the senior student MCs sang a song, while two first graders, a boy and a girl, walked around the yard jointly ringing a bell to signal the start of the new school year. This was followed by the first graders filing into the school.