Scarlet Sails Festival St Petersburg
|The Scarlet Sails (Russian: Алые
паруса) is a celebration in St. Petersburg, Russia, the largest and most
famous public event during the White Nights Festival. The tradition is
highly popular for its spectacular fireworks, numerous music concerts,
and a water show including battles between dozens of boats full of
pirates on the waters of the Neva river. The Scarlet Sails show
celebrating the end of school year can get attendances of more than one
million people.In 2010, public attendance grew to 3 million.
Entertainment has included such names as the Cirque du Soleil, Mariinsky
Ballet and Antonio Banderas.
This tradition began after the end of World War 2, when several Leningrad schools united to celebrate the end of the school year in connection with the symbolism of the popular 1922 children's book Scarlet Sails by Alexander Grin.
The popularity of both the book and the tradition was boosted after the 1961 release of the film Scarlet Sails.
During the first celebration, a
boat with scarlet sails sailed along the English Embankment and the
Admiralty Embankment towards the Winter Palace. Although it was designed
to update the rusty revolutionary propaganda, the "Scarlet Sails"
tradition eventually evolved into a massive demonstration of freedom
from "schools and rules" and has become the most popular public event
annually celebrating the end of school year.