Cambridge May Ball

It’s almost time – Cambridge May Balls 2022 

The history of the Cambridge May Balls:

The May Balls have been an annual tradition since the 1800s. They are lavish end-of-year parties for students to dress up and celebrate the conclusion of another academic year. The events themselves consist of extravagant performances, the finest selection of food & drinks, and most importantly, dazzling firework displays. Tickets for these events are limited and are only for current students or alumni of Cambridge University, with there plus ones or guests being bona fide acquaintances of ticket holders. Which means the only way to witness these opulent events – if you are not connected to a student or alumni – and watch some of the best firework displays around is to take to the river by punt for an evening to remember.

The May Balls has been held every year since 1866, apart from 1910, when King Edward VII died, during the Second World War, between 1939 and 1945 and unfortunately in 2020 and 2021 during the pandemic. However, they are returning this year, which makes these events feel extra special for a proper commemoration of the awe-inspiring parties comeback.

Most of the colleges of Cambridge University hold their own annual ball, but it’s Trinity and St John’s that are renowned for their firework displays, as they set out to outdo one another each year. Since the parties are intended to cap off the year on a high note, students go all out and dress to impress to mark the end-of-year. All of the evening’s amenities are carefully planned and prepared to ensure that the highest of standards are met; however, this does not come cheap; with an average ticket price of £300.

Interesting facts about the May Balls

Despite the name, The May Week is set in June, which can be slightly confusing but it is due to traditions of the May Bumps. The May Balls themselves are organised by a committee of Cambridge University students who are responsible for planning the event and to ensure that everything runs smoothly on the day. With a black tie dress code, the events each year have a theme that is not revealed until just before or on the event date itself.

The subtle competitiveness among colleges 

Trinity‘s May Ball will take place on Monday, June 20th, 2022.

While St. John‘s will be held the following day, on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022.

Both colleges have an innate rivalry over who has the most glitzy ball from the other.

The champion of the night is usually the one with the most spectacular firework display.

The May balls’ fireworks 

The May week is not only considered one of the most elegant times in the Cambridge social scene. Also, it is a jolly time in the city as it toasts the start of summer vacation as well as the end of the academic year.  It comes as no surprise that The May Ball’s fireworks are the most alluring part of the evenings.  Everyone waits eagerly for the displays to sparkle Cambridge skies with glitz and glam.

It is lovely to plan something for the evenings to enjoy these magical nights in Cambridge. An evening picnic with drinks under glimmery skies has an enchanting sense to it.

May Ball Punting 

As much as we enjoy punting down the River Cam, there is nothing quite like watching the may balls’ fireworks from the best seats in the house – a punt. It really is an unforgettable experience. Particularly since everyone has high hopes for this year’s parties. The scenic views of colleges and bridges are accompanied by some of the best firework displays. If you’re looking for something to do, we strongly advise going on a May Ball punting Cambridge tour with your loved ones.

We’re all eagerly awaiting to see what kind of stunning comeback is planned for the fireworks this year. You can book a private tour or a shared tour to enjoy the Mayballs fireworks with the Traditional punting company. Our experienced chauffeurs know the best angles on the river where you can get an optimal view of the fireworks. They will smoothly steer the boat for you to enjoy a captivating tour out of a fairytale.

You can book through our may ball punting page or over the phone on 01223 782 306… Mark your calendars for some of the best evening entertain of this year!

may ball fireworks, may ball punting

Posted on May 26th, 2022, by the Traditional Punting Company Editor