The Czar’s Ball: A Luxurious New Year’s Celebration in St. Petersburg
The sumptuous Czar’s Ball, held in St. Petersburg, Russia’s lavish Catherine’s Palace on New Year’s Eve, faithfully recreates the imperial soirees of the 19th century, when no expense was spared to dazzle and entertain the favored nobility. Entering the extravagant palace, guests enter the pages of Tolstoy’s War and Peace.
From the moment that uniformed hussars carrying torches light their way to the palace entrance until the stroke of midnight when they raise their glasses to toast the New Year, Czar’s Ball guests experience the height of czarist grandeur and privilege.
An inaugural cocktail awaits them in the baroque Stasov Room, surrounded by creamy white walls and Corinthian columns topped with gilded capitals.
The meticulous illusion of a 19th century royal ball is bolstered by the appearance of the Czar and Czarina, who greet their guests and lead them down the “Golden Enfilade,” the great hallway connecting the chambers and apartments that run the length of the palace.
The procession passes rooms with fanciful names such as the Arabesque Hall, the Cavaliers’ Dining Room, and the Crimson and Green Pilaster Rooms, stopping to bask in the glow of the storied Amber Room, paneled with precious amber mosaics, mirrors, and gilded carvings.
MIR’s annual small group tour, Russian Winter Wonderland, celebrates New Year’s Eve in St. Petersburg, and offers an optional opportunity to step into the past at the Czar’s Ball in Catherine’s imperial palace.
Alternately, you can contact one of MIR’s Independent Travel Specialists to handcraft a custom, private tour of Peter’s beautiful capital and add your name to the roll of the elite dining and dancing with the Czars.
(Top photo: The sumptuous Czar’s Ball New Year’s celebration at Catherine’s Palace, St. Petersburg.)
PUBLISHED: June 8, 2015