The White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia is an annual international arts festival during the season of the midnight sun and consists of a series of classical ballet, opera and music events. Due to the latitude, St. Petersburg is well known for the remarkable natural phenomenon “white nights”, which lasts from late May until mid-June. It became a symbol of the city and a time rich with festivals, entertainment, and cultural events.
The White Nights Festival is organized by the Saint Petersburg City Administration and starts in May with the “Starts of the White Nights” performance at the Mariinsky Theatre. The “Stars of the White Nights” is actually a series of classical ballet and opera performances at the Mariinsky Theatre and Concert Hall and it is the essential part of the White Nights Festival in Saint Petersburg. During the White Nights festival, there are daily evening performances at the Mariinsky Theatre and almost daily evening performances at the Mariinsky Concert Hall.
St. Petersburg’s Palace Square becomes a stage for international stars of popular music during the White Nights Festival. The most recent appearances were those of The Rolling Stones, Scorpions, Paul McCartney and many other stars as well.
A series of carnivals take place during the festival. The largest and probably the most popular takes place in the Peterhof. There actors dressed in period costumes from the times of Peter the Great and Catherine the Great give performances reproducing some of the most important historic events of that period.
The Scarlet Sails is the most massive and famous public event during the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg. The tradition is highly popular for its amazing fireworks, numerous music concerts and a beautiful and massive water show. Scarlet Sails is the holiday of graduates, it is held on the weekend which is nearest to the shortest night of the year. People began to celebrate the graduate’s days in St. Petersburg in 1969.
The Scarlet Sails holiday starts late in the evening and spreads on multiple grounds of St. Petersburg. After 01:00 AM in the morning fantastic multi-level water, light and pyrotechnic show takes its rise at the site of the Neva from Troitskiy to Dvortsoviy Bridge. The show lasts about half an hour, but it produces unforgettable emotions in the hearts of those who watch it.