Every year in Summer, the White Nights (Beliye Nochi) festival sees millions of tourists descend on St Petersburg for this annual celebration.
What is it?
Beliye Nochi is the period in high-summer when the northern-most parts of
the northern hemisphere experience 24-hour sunlight. Even in the middle
of the night, the sun can still be seen above the horizon, lighting
these northern locations as if it were day.
When is it?
Usually, this occurs from around June 11 to July 2nd.
As you can imagine, for a city that experiences such cold, bleak
winters, the celebration of 24-hour sunlight - and simply summer itself
- St Petersburg's summer festival is a very joyous occasion!
Russians descend on St Petersburg and celebrate in various ways.
Many revellers party in the street, but the main tradition (especially
for couples), is to head to the the river, (or the many canals), to
watch the raising of the bridges. (In St Petersburg, the bridges are
raised between 2am and 5am to let boats pass through. Whilst this is a
major inconvenience if you're trying to get somewhere by car at this
time... it is a wonderful sight to see, particularly during this summer period.)
To mark the occasion, there is also an annual festival - Stars of the
White Night Festival - consisting of a series of ballet, opera and
It's also a time of year when students across the country celebrate the
end of the school year! So, you'll also see many graduates dressed up
in style for their school / college formals.