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Ball Season in Vienna
You will be walzing and dancing away the whole evening (orchestras are always live the whole evening) till 5.00am, you can hitch a Fiaker (horse carriage) back home in the early morning and you will be enjoying an unforgettable evening in one of the most wonderful cities of the world.
We cannot think of another place in the world where this tradition has survived since centuries. Balls in Vienna take place during the Carnival season - mid January to mid February and there is about 150 different ones taking place nearly every day during that period - and they are attended by mostly locals, they are meant for their entertainment, no matter what social status or background. Some balls are hosted by the city, others by occupations, churches, organizations etc. - all of them are open to the public. Each trade has their own ball - the firemen, the coffemakers, the artists, the lawyers, etc....each of these balls are visited by the representatives of that occupation or organisation - it used to be a way of introducing the debutants to the 'right surroundings'. Of course guests and visitors are always welcome, but generally people feel confortable among like-minded people.
Why is this happening in Vienna? Emperor Joseph II, (1741-1790), preferred and respected the common man and did not care much for nobility. This is why he opened the ballrooms of his imperial palace for public balls for the common man. This started the tradition of public balls in Vienna - all of a sudden commoners had to learn how to dance and move in such grand surroundings - this is how the famous waltz was 'born', a way of dance the commoner felt comfortable dancing.
This whole tradition is really worth attending if you happen to be in Vienna at the right season - a unique experience only to be experienced in Vienna.