The White Nights Festival is an international arts festival - held in St. Petersburg, Russia. This is held during the season where the sun shines till midnight.
This is a natural phenomenon that occurs in the summer months in the northern latitudes and close to the poles – the Arctic and Antarctic Circles. In good weather, the sun shines for 24 hours. This phenomenon can be seen from distances as far away as 90 km from the poles.
Countries such as parts of Canada, Denmark, Finland, Russia and Sweden experience it. In parts of Finland, the sun does not set at all for 60 days during the summer.
One can expect to see classical opera, ballet and musical events during this time. Even Film festivals are held during these times. There are many performances by Russian as well as international stars on offer, to enthusiastic audiences.
The festival is organized by the City Administration. Around one million people from all over the country come and enjoy the shows that are performed – all through the day.
This festival is so popular that tickets to most performances are generally sold out weeks before the actual date. Make sure to have tickets for performances beforehand – they become very expensive or impossible to get, closer to the dates.
One can expect to see spectacular fireworks during this time – this generally marks the end of the school year. Scarlet Sails is an event based on a children’s book of the same name by Alexander Grin. Boats with scarlet sails can be seen sailing down the river Neva.
Check out the carnivals that take place during this festival. Suburbs of the city play host to actors dressed in period costumes - as Catherine and Peter the Great. They perform some of the well known historical events of that time. People can also ride in period carriages around Peterhof Park – a fun part of the carnival.