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White Night festivals

The White Nights are a kind of all-night arts festival held in many cities in the summer. The original festival is the White Nights Festival held in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The white nights is the name given in areas of high latitude to the weeks around the summer solstice in June during which sunsets are late, sunrises are early and darkness is never complete. In Saint Petersburg, the Sun does not set until after 10 p.m., and the twilight lasts almost all night.

The White Nights Festival in Saint Petersburg is famous for spectacular fireworks and Scarlet Sails, a massive show celebrating the end of school year. Other festivals following this lead have arisen, using names such as White Night, Light Nights or Nuit Blanche, see that article for examples around the world.

Some cities use the French phrase Nuit blanche (or Nuits blanches, if the event is spread over more than one night). Some use the same words in their language: White Nights, La Notte Bianca (Italian), La Noche en Blanco (Spanish), Noaptea alba (Romanian), Nata e Bardhe (Albanian), Baltā Nakts in Latvian. Others invent their own names, such as Lejl Imdawwal ("Lit Night") in Maltese, Virada Cultural in São Paulo, Taiteiden yö ("Night of the arts") in Finland, and Kulturnatten ("Night of Culture") in Copenhagen.

The first city outside of Russia to host such a festival was apparently Paris, which has had its famous Nuit Blanche festival since 2001, when it was started by mayor Bertrand Delanoë.



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