Not a weekend seems to go by in Fasching (carnival season) in January and February without a major ball playing out somewhere in the capital. At this time of year, traditional carnival events are complemented by a succession of authentic Viennese balls. The ball season opens on New Year's Eve at the staterooms of the Hofburg Vienna with Le Grand Bal. This historic setting also hosts countless other prestigious balls including the Hunters' Ball (Jan 28, 2013), the Physicians' Ball (Jan 26, 2013) and the Lawyers' Ball (Feb 9, 2013). One of the undisputed highlights of the year is the Coffeehouse Owners' Ball (Feb 8, 2013). Held at the Hofburg and Redoutensaele, this glittering annual event attracts around 5,000 visitors. A snack at a sausage stand, or a ride on a horse-drawn carriage before a revitalizing breakfast at Café Landtmann are all part of the quintessentially Viennese ball experience.
The Opera Ball (Feb 7, 2013) at the world-famous Vienna State Opera on the Ringstrasse boulevard is legendary. On this special night ballgoers can watch proceedings from the comfort of their boxes, or rub shoulders with stars from the world of music "backstage". Held at Palais Auersperg on the same night as the Opera Ball, the gay and lesbian community's outlandish Rosenball disco is a popular alternative. The Vienna Philharmonic Ball (Jan 24, 2013) at the Musikverein is an ode to music. After the opening ceremony, the musicians in this internationally acclaimed orchestra put their instruments to one side, and join the other guests on the dancefloor. The Bonbon Ball (Feb 8, 2013) at the Konzerthaus is a slightly more lighthearted and laid-back affair. Shortly before that, City Hall is transformed into a sea of flowers for the Flower Ball (Jan 18, 2013).
- Le Grand Bal, Dec 31, 2012, www.legrandbal.at
- Flower Ball, Jan 18, 2013, www.wien.gv.at/umwelt/parks/veranstaltungen/blumenball.html
- Vienna Philharmonic Ball, Jan 24, 2013, www.wienerphilharmoniker.at
- Physicians' Ball, Jan 26, 2013, www.aerzteball.at
- Hunters' Ball, Jan 28, 2013, www.verein-grueneskreuz.at
- Opera Ball, Feb 7, 2013, www.wiener-staatsoper.at
- Rosenball, Feb 7, 2013, www.rosenball.eu
- Coffeehouse Owners' Ball, Feb 8, 2013, www.kaffeesiederball.at
- Bonbon Ball, Feb 8, 2013, www.bonbonball.at
- Lawyers' Ball, Feb 9, 2013, www.juristenball.at