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White Nights

The ‘White Nights’ is an important time of year in St. Petersburg. After many long months of darkness, a short spring is followed by summer. And with summer comes the midnight sun and twenty-four hour daylight. Due to its northern altitude, the sun in the city of St. Petersburg does not drop below the horizon for most of the months of June and July. Instead in the evening, the city is covered by a gentle twilight known as the white nights.

What better a way to enjoy and celebrate the lighter times of the year than with festivals, art performances and partying? St. Petersburg comes to life in June with an eclectic mix of entertainment on offer all over the city.

The official White Nights Festival
The official White Nights Festival is an art festival which takes place across St. Petersburg. Here you can enjoy performances from many genres, including classical, opera, ballet and popular music events. Musicians and artists come from all over Russia, as well as from abroad to take part in the festivities.

Undoubtedly, the highlight of the White Nights Festival is the Scarlet Sails Firework Display. Shortly after the Second World War, schools started to celebrate the end of the school year. This was later connected to the symbolism written in a children’s book called The Scarlet Sails in 1922 by Alexander Grin. This has now become a custom and each year a ship with Red sails is the setting for a magnificent fireworks display out on the water, which attracts over one million spectators.

Visiting the Music Festival
One element of the White Nights celebrations that has put Russia on the map is the White Nights Music Festival. This festival has now been running for several years and attracts major international artists to the stage, including Ringo Starr, Joe Cocker, Deep Purple, Chris Rea and Sheryl Crow, to name a few.

When staying at a convenient St. Petersburg Airport Hotel such as the Park Inn by Radisson Pulkovskaya, reaching the city centre and its attractions is simple through good transport links. If you are visiting in the summer months, make sure you set time aside to experience the cultural highlights of St. Petersburg’s White Nights.