‘Unrivalled showcase of revelry’ at Cambridge University May Ball

Cambridge University students celebrated the end of their exams in style with a night of partying, with some still holding champagne glasses as they made their way home, dressed to the nines, as the sun rose.

The Trinity May Ball, a tradition dating back 153 years, is billed as the city’s “best ball, an unrivalled showcase of revelry”.

Cambridge University May Balls
Cambridge University May Balls

Guests, who paid at least £345 for a sought-after double ticket to Monday’s event, had the option of a lavish five-course feast with wine pairings or a champagne reception.

They enjoyed a stunning fireworks display followed by a night of entertainment ranging from comedians to classical and jazz music.

Cambridge University May Balls
Cambridge University May Balls

Some relaxed on punts on the River Cam after the music stopped, while others made their way home as the sun rose.

In years gone by, some of Britain’s brightest students have engaged in hedonistic behaviour, stripping off and jumping in the river, but this year more sipped from bottles of water than alcoholic drinks as they left the college.

Cambridge University May Balls
Cambridge University May Balls

Some in high spirits gave shoulder rides to friends and posed for photos, while others ate takeaway food.

The ball has been held every year since 1866, apart from 1910, when King Edward VII died, and during the Second World War, between 1939 and 1945.

Cambridge University May Balls
Cambridge University May Balls

A series of balls is held to mark the end of term, with various colleges hosting them.

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