Caressed by tenderness of light
Experienced the summer bright
As though it were the winter snow.
- Osip Mandelstam
Officially, White Nights last from 11th June to 2nd July, but in St. Petersburg you can still enjoy their lingering splendour through to August! You will find it is possible to wander the city until at least 23:00. Many say that being amidst the White Nights of St. Petersburg is like floating through a good dream, for one dawn follows another with scarcely half an hour of night.
Around midnight, a silver glow reigns over the shades of night and day; reflections of majestic coloured buildings hover in new silver tones in the canals and the Neva river - it is an enchanting light that sometimes spellbinds and often disorientates!
One of the best ways to appreciate it is of course to glide along the winding waters in a riverboat… your senses will tingle and your imagination will explode.
The nature of the White Nights (Belye Nochi) can be explained by the geographical location of St. Petersburg. It is the world's most northern city with a population over one million. St Petersburg is located at 59 degrees 57' North (roughly on the same latitude as Oslo, Norway, the southern tip of Greenland and Seward, Alaska). Due to such high latitude, the sun does not go under the horizon deep enough for the sky to get dark.
Events during the natural phenomenon often take an outdoor and all night slant! Not surprising really, considering terraces have been filled since the beginning of May and the 24 hour parties were going on even through out the winter.
The difference in seasonal climates here also tends to accentuate the beauty and grace of the warm and ever bright nights and the city’s artistic climate flourishes under the Surrealist skies! White nights have been captured ceaselessly in paintings, photographs and literature across the centuries. They’re a vision to experience at least once in a lifetime.