If you see an elementary student, holding proudly a big paper cone filled with presents, then you know it is the very first day of school here in Hesse.
Most Germans see this is a serious affair – this is when ‘Der Ernst des Lebens beginnt’ (The serious side of life begins). Some moms even cry, because they worry about their children and the ‘serious effects’ school could have on them.
On the other hand, when our international kids started school, we were so happy and pleased to have come so far. We told them to enjoy school and the healthy and fun environment provided by good educators.
If you want to know more about the origin of the Schultüte, visit: http://m.dw.com/en/why-germans-give-their-kids-paper-cones-on-the-first-day-of-school/a-19492362
This shows me on my first day of school. Back in 1967, cones were usually filled with essentials mostly, such as school supplies, but also a few sweets. My home state of Bavaria starts the new school year very late by mid-September, hence the warmer clothing.