The last day of high school and graduation day

Tradition and Ritual

To celebrate the end of high school, 12th graders go through two different ceremonies. First is the “end of school” ceremony, which happens right before the actual exams. Inside this small ceremonial, the flag of the school is raised and if there is any, its anthem is sung. After that students can come and give speeches about their time in their school, what they are grateful for, and their wishes for the future. The more daring of them can even risk a musical performance. Finally, there will be a succession of thanks for the teacher present, with sometimes some gifts from the students.

During this ceremony, you can also hear students shouting a countdown to 12, corresponding to the number of years they spent in school.

Then comes the ball. Unlike what one could think on the fly, this is not an adaptation of the very American “prom” ball, but the modern take on a tradition that goes back to the liberation of Bulgaria. In its current state, this is an event that’s been waited by the student since the beginning of the year. Dress, costumes, cars… If sometimes the ceremony is quite expensive for the student’s parents, this is a required step for the student, a sort of farewell to the high school years and a preparation for what’s to come next. As quite a lot of Bulgarian students intend to carry on their studies abroad, it is also sometimes with fellow high school friends and a way to keep the tradition of their country lively.

Folk dance group for the last day of high school, 2019, Preslav / ©Alice de Villeblanche
Last day at school
Last day at school, 2019, Preslav / ©Alice de Villeblanche
Prom Night 2018, Shumen / ©Daniel Mateev