On December 31 at the New Year night will be opened the season of Vienna balls, which are the most famous and luxurious in the world. It will last until March 10, and during that time in Vienna will take place about three hundred balls, but the most important and solemn will be hosted on December 31. It is called the Imperial ball (Kaiserball) and it will take place in the Hofburg Palace - the former imperial winter residence.
At midnight simultaneously with ringing of the Viennese bell in the St. Stephen tower will began the solemn changing of the Imperial Guard, which will herald the opening of the Kaiserball. The ballrooms of the palace, decorated with fresh flowers, will be filled with waltz melodies. The audience will be served the first cocktail and ladies will receive small souvenirs. According to the tradition, the first dance is the Danube waltz and then goes dancing of young girls and boys, who came to the ball for the first time. Guests are also offered a festive buffet with snacks and drinks. The ball ends, as a rule, with a gala concert of the most famous Austrian opera artists.
During the next 70 days a lot of balls will be held in Vienna. Some will be devoted to certain topic, some participants will be united by profession (there are balls for doctors, journalists, restaurateurs, teachers and so on), but the Imperial ball is the most important as tickets for it are available already in autumn.
Hofburg Castle is one of the favorite tourist destinations in Vienna. Currently in Hofburg is located the residence of the President of the Austrian Republic, the famous Hall of Congresses, and here also give concerts Vienna Boys Choir. In the yard are held demonstration parades of the lipica horses from the Vienna Riding School, which was founded in 1735 by the Austrian Emperor Charles Habsburg the Sixth. In the palace are available two permanent exhibitions: Silver house and imperial apartments.