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Donnerstag, 12. Januar 2012
A short run-down of the balls in Vienna and their present status:
Opera Ball: this is one of the few white-tie-only affairs worldwide but- apart from imperial times- has had its high during the Cold War especially in the earlier 70s when Vienna even more than now was the meeting place for spies, terrorists and diplomats of all couleurs. Then, also Seikhs and top politicians paid it a visit; today it's more concentrated on local entrepreneurs, the newly rich and on minor celebrities although the first row of the political intelligentsia of Austria will still be present.
These are the best or most fun ones:
Kaffeesiederball (Ball of the cafetiers)
Philharmonica Ball (Ball of the Viennese Philharmonic Orchestra held at the Musikverein), this is the most elegant and refined one; partly, what the Opera Ball once was in terms of visitors with status as well as prestige, has wandered off to this affair.
Jägerball (Hunter's Ball at the Hofburg) this is the most fun one and the only occasion when the 'No Trachten in town'-rule could be broken: it is the carnival-season, after all. Admittedly, even many who are no hunters get into their green or grey outfits or in case of the girls- their Dirndl-dresses- and get it on; throw in a good mixture of Kimonos, Saris and military officers' uniforms for a splendid evening. This has the best looking girls and is favoured and heavily frequented by the Golden Youth/Jeunesse Dorée of Vienna.
There is also the Kaiserball held at the Hofburg on New Years' Eve that is mostly visited by rich Americans and Asians (I once went there, too and got immensely drunk on champagne), and balls of the various professions, groups, clubs and segments of society like the tobacconists, the bakers' or the officers balls. As I mentioned somewhere in this spot, I am leading a more reclusive life right now and although I never was a great dancer I still went to a few in my time and had great fun. So, I'm passing the baton on to you- come over and visit one or a couple of them and enjoy the crazy festivities!