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FANTASTIC FESTIVAL – White Nights Festival, Russia

White Nights Festival
Celebration of Scarlet Sails show during the White Nights Festival
Celebration of Scarlet Sails show during the White Nights Festival

Organized by the St Petersburg City Administration, the White Nights Festival begins in May, along with Stars of the White Nights, a classical ballet, opera and orchestral performances at the Mariinsky Theatre and the Mariinsky Concert Hall. The festival officially ends in July. However, some performances connected to the festival take place before and after the official dates. Numerous night-time cultural festivals of the world have been inspired by the White Night Festival. In French, they are called Nuit Blanche.

The White Nights Festival, an annual international arts festival, is held during the season of the midnight sun. It includes a series of classical ballet, opera and music events performed by the Russian artists, as well as by the international guest stars of repute. The Scarlet Sails celebration is the culminating part of the White Nights season, which is supposed to be the largest public event anywhere in Russia and widely attended by thousands of vibrant people, mostly by the students.

The White Nights Festival is actually a series of carnivals that take place in and around the city of St Petersburg. The largest and the internationally acclaimed carnival takes place in the Peterhof  suburb of St. Petersburg, where the actors perform some historical events, dressed in period costumes from the time of Peter the Great and Catherine the Great. Props like period carriages are also used in the act to give it a touch of reality. Carnivals at the Catherine Palace and in the Pavlovsk suburb of St Petersburg are also famous for their quality production of the historic events. The Palace Square in St. Petersburg serves as a natural stage for numerous carnival events and appearances showing period costumes of the Tsars and Tsarinas.

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White Nights Festival celebration in Saint Petersburg
White Nights Festival celebration in Saint Petersburg

The White Nights Festival takes place during the arctic season when the sun can still be seen at midnight. Ships with beautiful red sails, entertainers, fireworks, and more activities are watched by an audience of millions. The Scarlet Sails celebration is just a single part of the titanic White Nights Festival, which includes, among others, the spectacular fireworks, the enchanting concerts, and a breath taking mock battle among pirates in boats on the Neva River under the arctic sky.

The Great Bridge, as it rises during White Nights in St Petersburg
The Great Bridge, as it rises during White Nights in St Petersburg

 

Dibyendu Banerjee
Dibyendu Banerjee
Ex student of Scottish Church College. Served a Nationalised Bank for nearly 35 years. Authored novels in Bengali. Translated into Bengali novels/short stories of Leo Tolstoy, Eric Maria Remarque, D.H.Lawrence, Harold Robbins, Guy de Maupassant, Somerset Maugham and others. Also compiled collections of short stories from Africa and Third World. Interested in literature, history, music, sports and international films.

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