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University of Cambridge May Balls: Spectacular pictures as students party after exams





Dressed in elegant ball gowns and black tie, University of Cambridge students made their way home after a night of partying to celebrate the end of their exams.

The annual Trinity May Ball, a tradition dating back 157 years, was held on Monday night (June 19) and boasted what organisers called an “unrivalled showcase of revelry”.

People in punts make their way along the River Cam after watching a firework display during the Trinity May Ball at Trinity College. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
People in punts make their way along the River Cam after watching a firework display during the Trinity May Ball at Trinity College. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

There was “unlimited food and drink, a stunning fireworks display, and a myriad of entertainments from chart-topping stars to world-class comedians to the finest classical and jazz musicians”, the event’s website said.

Guests, who paid at least £360 for a double ticket, made their way home through the city’s streets as the sun rose on Tuesday. The first Trinity May Ball was held in 1866, with the tradition quickly spreading to other colleges.

University of Cambridge students on their way to the Trinity May Ball on Monday evening. Picture: Terry Harris / Bav Media
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Trinity May Ball on Monday evening. Picture: Terry Harris / Bav Media
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Trinity May Ball on Monday evening. Picture: Terry Harris / Bav Media
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Trinity May Ball on Monday evening. Picture: Terry Harris / Bav Media
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Trinity May Ball on Monday evening. Picture: Terry Harris / Bav Media
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Trinity May Ball on Monday evening. Picture: Terry Harris / Bav Media
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Trinity May Ball on Monday evening. Picture: Terry Harris / Bav Media
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Trinity May Ball on Monday evening. Picture: Terry Harris / Bav Media
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Trinity May Ball on Monday evening. Picture: Terry Harris / Bav Media
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Trinity May Ball on Monday evening. Picture: Terry Harris / Bav Media
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Trinity May Ball on Monday evening. Picture: Terry Harris / Bav Media
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Trinity May Ball on Monday evening. Picture: Terry Harris / Bav Media
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Trinity May Ball on Monday evening. Picture: Terry Harris / Bav Media
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Trinity May Ball on Monday evening. Picture: Terry Harris / Bav Media
Picture supplied by Bav Media 07976 880732.Cambridge University students on their way to the Trinity May Ball on Monday evening. Picture: Terry Harris / Bav Media
Picture supplied by Bav Media 07976 880732.Cambridge University students on their way to the Trinity May Ball on Monday evening. Picture: Terry Harris / Bav Media
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Trinity May Ball on Monday evening. Picture: Terry Harris / Bav Media
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Trinity May Ball on Monday evening. Picture: Terry Harris / Bav Media
Students from the University of Cambridge make their way home after celebrating the end of the academic year at the Trinity May Ball at Trinity College. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Students from the University of Cambridge make their way home after celebrating the end of the academic year at the Trinity May Ball at Trinity College. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

The ball has been held every year since 1866, apart from in 1910 when King Edward VII died, during the Second World War between 1939 and 1945, and in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

University of Cambridge students on their way to the Trinity May Ball on Monday evening. Picture: Terry Harris / Bav Media
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Trinity May Ball on Monday evening. Picture: Terry Harris / Bav Media
Students from the University of Cambridge make their way home after celebrating the end of the academic year at the Trinity May Ball at Trinity College. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Students from the University of Cambridge make their way home after celebrating the end of the academic year at the Trinity May Ball at Trinity College. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
A firework display over the River Cam during the Trinity May Ball at Trinity College. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
A firework display over the River Cam during the Trinity May Ball at Trinity College. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
A view of the Trinity May Ball at Trinity College. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
A view of the Trinity May Ball at Trinity College. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Students from the University of Cambridge make their way home after celebrating the end of the academic year at the Trinity May Ball at Trinity College. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Students from the University of Cambridge make their way home after celebrating the end of the academic year at the Trinity May Ball at Trinity College. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Areeg Emarah, one of the founders of the Alternative Trinity May Ball, attending her first May Ball. Picture: Keith Heppell
Areeg Emarah, one of the founders of the Alternative Trinity May Ball, attending her first May Ball. Picture: Keith Heppell
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Emmanuel College May Ball in the rain. Picture: Bav Media
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Emmanuel College May Ball in the rain. Picture: Bav Media
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Emmanuel College May Ball in the rain. Picture: Bav Media
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Emmanuel College May Ball in the rain. Picture: Bav Media
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Emmanuel College May Ball in the rain. Picture: Bav Media
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Emmanuel College May Ball in the rain. Picture: Bav Media
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Emmanuel College May Ball in the rain. Picture: Bav Media
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Emmanuel College May Ball in the rain. Picture: Bav Media

Meanwhile, after a long, dry spell, students attending the Emmanuel College ball had the bad luck of rainy weather on Sunday night.

The ball had the theme ‘Where Lyrics Come to Life’ – and at times it seemed they were Singin’ in the Rain.

University of Cambridge students on their way to the Emmanuel College May Ball in the rain. Picture: Bav Media
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Emmanuel College May Ball in the rain. Picture: Bav Media
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Emmanuel College May Ball in the rain. Picture: Bav Media
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Emmanuel College May Ball in the rain. Picture: Bav Media
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Emmanuel College May Ball in the rain. Picture: Bav Media
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Emmanuel College May Ball in the rain. Picture: Bav Media
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Emmanuel College May Ball in the rain. Picture: Bav Media
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Emmanuel College May Ball in the rain. Picture: Bav Media
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Emmanuel College May Ball in the rain. Picture: Bav Media
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Emmanuel College May Ball in the rain. Picture: Bav Media
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Emmanuel College May Ball in the rain. Picture: Bav Media
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Emmanuel College May Ball in the rain. Picture: Bav Media
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Emmanuel College May Ball in the rain. Picture: Bav Media
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Emmanuel College May Ball in the rain. Picture: Bav Media
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Emmanuel College May Ball in the rain. Picture: Bav Media
University of Cambridge students on their way to the Emmanuel College May Ball in the rain. Picture: Bav Media

Despite now taking place in June, the college events are still called the May Balls as that is when they were originally held.



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