In an earlier post, I wrote about how carnival starts on November 11th, at 11:11 am. During Fasching, it is also ball season in Austria. This tradition dates back through Austrian History and the first ball, the Imperial Ball, takes place on New Years Eve at Hofburg Palace in Vienna. There are hundreds of glorious balls to choose from and to attend. However, the end of February or beginning of March typically mark the end of the official season. A few balls are continued when the season is over, and the last ones are typically carnival balls.
The balls are usually opened by a Polonaise (a slow stately dance of Polish origin) and punctuated by speeches, a midnight Quadrille (a square dance performed by couples) and the crowning of the “belle of the ball.”
A very well known ball that takes place after the Imperial Ball is the Pharmacists’ ball, which is located at the same venue. This ball is on January 21st this year and is sponsored by professionals. According to Austria Information, other popular balls are also “held by professional groups, ranging from confectioners, hunters and pharmacists to coffee house owners and engineers.”
A ball that may be appealing to college students is the Rudolfina Redoute. It is a masquerade ball, where the participants wear a mask through the night in order to keep things interesting. This ball is held by a student fraternity and is also a ball that dates back to the very beginning of the ball tradition.
Photo Credit: MyMasqueradeBallMasks
If you are serious about attending a ball, you should take a few dance classes before hand. The Walz is the most common dance for these events. I would also suggest to book in advance, as tickets are bought on a frequent basis.