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Grab your tux and gown, ball season has begun

Kate Müser
November 23, 2017

The German Press Ball in Berlin is one of the first balls of the season. Here are some of the most important black-tie dance galas coming up. Some are charity events, others are more about seeing and being seen.

Bildergalerie Wiener Opernball Österreich
Image: Getty Images/Sean Gallup

German politicians, media makers and celebrities will gather at the German Press Ball on November 24 to enjoy a high-class evening of good food, dancing and hobnobbing at the Hotel Adlon Kempinski in Berlin.

Founded in 1951, just a few years after the end of World War II, the history of the gala event traces that of the young republic.

It was initially held in Bad Neuenahr, a vacation town which is famous for its wine and is located just south of the then-capital Bonn. In 1959, the event was moved to Bonn, where it was held in the Beethovenhalle concert hall — the city is the birthplace of the famous composer.

After German reunification in 1990, the German capital was formally moved to Berlin, though it took a number of years for the seat of government to fully shift. When that process concluded in 1999, the German Press Ball likewise moved to Berlin.

As is customary at more traditional events such as the Vienna and Semper Opera Balls, the German Press Ball upholds a tradition that is common among balls in central Europe: fundraising for a good cause. While some events are exclusively dedicated to a particular cause — like the Sport Ball, which was founded to support high-performance athletes in Germany —, others, like the German Press Ball, offer a charity raffle for a rotating goodwill organization.

At every ball, dancing arguably plays the most important role. While the larger balls in Dresden or Vienna open with a choreographed debutante dance and organize lengthy performance programs featuring top stars, you're still expected to know your steps at the more modern balls.

For some of the most important balls coming up this season in Germany and Austria, click through the gallery above. Not sure how to behave at such a glamorous event? Get inspired by the gallery below, which takes cues from traditional German rules of etiquette.