Let’s waltz! Vienna ball season back in full swing

After COVID restrictions had wiped out Vienna's glamorous winter ball season for two years in a row, 50-year-old Wahyuni couldn't wait any longer to get all dolled up and put on her dazzling floral-patterned ballgown to once again waltz the night away.

"We love to come here, because the very nice decorations are made out of real flowers and it's very lovely," Wahyuni said, alongside her friend Deasy, who declined to give their full names, as both were attending the legendary Flower Ball in Vienna's neo-Gothic city hall.

Admiring the riot of colours, 46-year-old Deasy, who originally hails from Indonesia, said that she had already been here a few years ago and "had to come back".

Known for being one of the most beautifully decorated winter balls among the approximately 450 hosted in the Austrian capital each season, the Flower Ball showcases mesmerizing floral arrangements skillfully crafted out of 100,000 blossoms.

Donning snow-white dresses and classy black evening suits, four first-time debutants said they were "quite nervous" about opening the ball.

"I think it is so beautifully decorated, and that makes me super happy," 18-year-old Eduard Wernisch said.

The self-described "rookies" said they had attended dance classes for a couple of hours every week since September to be prepared.

The rhythm of the waltz can be tricky and 17-year-old classmate Emma said she was particularly afraid of dropping her flower bouquet.

"People come here with the expectation of experiencing spring" as opposed to the grey, foggy winters so prevalent in Vienna, Peter Hucik, art director of the Flower Ball told AFP.

Even though the ball is not sold out, Hucik said he is pleased that 2,400 visitors are attending Friday's ball...

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