Enjoying the Glow of White Nights in St Petersburg, Russia
Dostoyevsky's short story, "White Nights," recounts the wanderings of a lonely, tortured intellectual who finds fleeting moments of joy in St. Petersburg's half-lit streets. And there really is something magical about the glow of Russian summer nights (after all, to lift the mood of a Dostoyevsky protagonist is no small feat). During midsummer in St. Petersburg and White Nights Festival, the sun sets after 10 p.m., and the twilight lasts for a few hours until the sun rises again around 2 a.m. The official festivities include classical ballet, opera, and music events with performances by Russian dancers, singers, musicians, actors, and international guest stars. But the real pleasure is mingling with the denizens of the night in the bars, cafes, and restaurants that stay open late, while the whole city of St. Petersburg basks in the sky's subtle transition.