Winter

 

International Winter Festival “Arts Square”

December

The festival is the largest platform in St Petersburg to delve into arts: symphony orchestra, theatre, music, and opera. Mostly it is performed by the D.D. Shostakovich St Petersburg Academic Philharmonia with the Russian Museum, the Church of the Resurrection, and Theatre of Musical Comedy.

Each year has its own theme: in 2017, we celebrated the anniversaries of the outstanding composers. A unique chance to visit concerts, first nights, and performances by foreign artists.

 

Happy New Year

December 31- January 1

Happy New Year is traditionally a family celebration. It is time to give and get presents, to wish sound health and well-being, to have Bengal lights and fireworks. The traditional meal consists of the salad Olivie, salad “Dressing herring”, meat in jelly, potatoes, and others. The drink associated with the Happy New Year is Champagne. The New Year is celebrated in December 31 - January 1 when the Kremlin clock strikes twelve. There is a tradition of making wishes: if you write your wish on a piece of paper, burn it and put it in your glass of champagne to drink, your wish will definitely happen.

The New Year celebration is the beginning of the holidays up to January 7 when we celebrate the Orthodox Christmas. The Christmas and New Year holiday seasons bring with them concerts, competitions, fairs, sightseeing, going to the countryside to snowboard, ski, skate, and make snowmen.

 

Student Day  

January 25

The Student Day, or Tatiana Day and Day of the Russian Students, is a time for friends and students to gather to celebrate the end of the winter exam session as January 25 is traditionally the end of the study and beginning of the holiday season. 

 

Chinese New Year

January-February

In China, New Year is known as the Spring Festival while in Russia it coincides with the cold winter days. Yet it is by no means an obstacle to enjoy the festival and to attend the lectures on the history and culture of China, workshops on Chinese painting guóhuà, concerts, exhibitions, and cinema.

 

Maslenitsa festival

February-March (a week in the ecclesiastical calendar)

The Maslenitsa festival traditionally celebrates the coming of spring in Russia. The activities include gatherings, sledging, making ‘blini’. Burning the straw figure of the Maslenitsa is part of the tradition that marks the arrival of spring.  

Each year, St Petersburg host fairs, folklore concerts, and dancing to feel the arrival of spring.   

 

Spring

 

Festival of Light

April and November

The Festival of Light is a spectrum of astounding lights, music, and optical illusions that transform the historic monuments of St Petersburg into phenomenal performance.

Alexandrinsky Theatre, Mariinsky Theatre, St Isaak’s Cathedral, St Petersburg Arena Stadium, Palace Square — the phenomenal performance like no other, 3D-mapping, inspired people and revived city.

 

Victory Day

May 9

Victory Day is a holiday that commemorates the victory of the Soviet Union over Nazi Germany in the Great Patriotic War. The event traditionally features military parades, wreath-laying ceremonies at the tombs of the unknown soldiers, fireworks, and concerts.

Each year, St Petersburg University holds a relay race in commemoration of the war hero Viacheslav Vasilkovskii.

 

Night of Museums

May

Each year, St Petersburg, as many other European cities, initiates the events on the International Museum Day and delivers after-opening hours for all.

Many of the museums, galleries, libraries, and exhibition halls in St Petersburg stay open all night and offers unique programmes to those who stay up late: one-day exhibitions, original excursions, workshops, historical reconstruction, and concerts.

 

City Day

May 27

May 27 is a day when Peter the Great lay the foundations of a new fortress that would then go on to become the city of St Petersburg.

The city holds gatherings, excursions, performances, and fireworks at the Peter and Paul’s Fortress.

 

White Night Stars

May-July

For over 20 years, St Petersburg has held the musical festival ‘White Night Stars’ that features best opera and ballet performances, masterpieces of chamber music and theatrical first nights.

The event was initiated by Valerii Gergiev who is an Art Director at the Mariinsky Theatre and Dean of the Faculty of Arts at St Petersburg University.

 

Summer

 

Night of Music in Gatchina

June

Each year, the magnificent Gatchina palace is for one night a concert hall with the White Lake as a stage and trees as a scenery. The programme features classical music and remakes of the latest hits performed by the symphony orchestra and choirs.

You are strongly advised to have warm travelling rugs and mosquito repellents.

 

Singing bridges

From June to September  

Held since 2016 when the Palace Bridge celebrated its 100th anniversary, the event features drawbridge accompanied by the Russian classical music – Rimsky-Korsakov, Chaikovsky, Musorgsky, Rakhmaninov – each night from June to September. Millions of people have already enjoyed it. 

 

Scarlet sails

June

The event is also referred to as the Graduation Holiday. It is traditionally held late in June when there is a number of the Graduation Balls in Russian schools and marks the beginning of a new stage in life of young people. The name of the festival refers to Aleksandr Grin’s book Scarlet sails that is a romantic novel about our dreams and faith in miracles. The festival ends up with the quintessential scene: an appearance of a ship with the scarlet sails.

Scarlet Sails is an only festival in Russia included in the world’s tourist attraction lists and is among the best destinations in 20 countries in Europe.

 

International festival “Opera for All”

July

The festival features the masterpieces of the Russian and world’s opera under the open sky. The citizens and guests of St Petersburg have an excellent opportunity to see world’s popular operas in the nature’s scenery free of charge.

It is a significant event and incredibly popular among people who are passionate about arts.

 

Freshers’ Day at SPbU. Ships of Hope

August 31

The Freserhs’ Day at SPbU is traditionally a two-part event: a student initiation ceremony and sending the ships of hope on the River Neva. The general atmosphere is vibrant and inspiring: the management of the University, famous alumni, and honoured guests greet the students. Then the students sing the anthem, read an oath, take part in the flash-mob and concerts.  

The second part starts at night on the Strelka of vasilievsky Ostrov: the students write their wished on the paper ships and send them to the River Neva. These wishes will definitely happen.

 

Autumn

 

Fresher’s Day

September

The festival of the first-years students is held in the second half of or end of September when the university life is at full swing and the students have already acquired a taste of a new life.  

The festival features competitions and prizes, vibrant concerts with the Russian stars, and many surprises.   

 

Closing of the Fountains in Peterhof

September

Closing the Fountains in Peterhof is among the brightest event in the city and a show of water, music, and light.  You have an excellent opportunity to see the Fountain Alley, Samson Tearing Apart the Jaws of the Lion, and Monplaisir Palace to name but a few.

The festival is traditionally held in the second half of September and features orchestra performances, concerts, cannon firing, and fireworks.

 

Festival of Light

April and November

The Festival of Light is a spectrum of astounding lights, music, and optical illusions that transform the historic monuments of St Petersburg into phenomenal performance.

Alexandrinsky Theatre, Mariinsky Theatre, St Isaak’s Cathedral, St Petersburg Arena Stadium, Palace Square — the phenomenal performance like no other, 3D-mapping, inspired people and revived city.

 

International Cultural Forum

November-December

The International Cultural Forum is a unique event on a global scale and a platform for discussion that brings together thousands of experts across the globe. Among those who take part are artists of theatre, ballet, opera, directors, musicians, representatives of the academic community, business, and government.

The Forum features entrainment and educational events for both participants and guests of St Petersburg. The business programme has 14 sections headed by the outstanding people in the sphere of culture. The section Education is traditionally headed by SPbU Rector Nikolay Kropachev.

 

International Art Festival “Diagilev P.S.”

November-December

The International Art Festival “Diagilev P.S.” is one of the largest event of culture in the honour of outstanding artist Sergei Diagilev who graduated St Petersburg University. The festival features world’s best ballet and theatrical groups and artists, exhibitions and cinema.