1. Edward Russell’s Punch Party, 2. The 2.500th Anniversary Of The First Persian Empire, 3. V-J (Victory Over Japan) Day, 4. Truman Capote’s Masked Ball, 5. The Rothschild Surrealist Ball, 6. The Original Oktoberfest, 7. The Winter Ball Of 1903, 8. Sultan Of Brunei’s 50th Birthday Bash, 9. The Congress Of Vienna, 10. Andrew Jackson’s Inauguration. When people think about history, people typically picture protracted times of conflict, famine, and general suffering. While it is unquestionably true given the horrors our species has seen in the past, people often forget that there have also been some wonderful, albeit seldom, periods of joy and celebration. Toplist listed top 10 parties in history in an effort to show everyone that people can have a good time and party just as well as all the other negative things.
- Edward Russell’s Punch Party
- The 2.500th Anniversary Of The First Persian Empire
- V-J (Victory Over Japan) Day
- Truman Capote’s Masked Ball
- The Rothschild Surrealist Ball
- The Original Oktoberfest
- The Winter Ball Of 1903
- Sultan Of Brunei’s 50th Birthday Bash
- The Congress Of Vienna
- Andrew Jackson’s Inauguration
Edward Russell’s Punch Party
Although we’re not here to talk about his military prowess, Edward Russell served as an admiral in the British fleet and was renowned for his anti-piracy efforts in the 17th and 18th centuries. He has earned his position at the top of this list by throwing what is probably the biggest cocktail party and cocktail ever.
His junior officers, other crew members, and lucky locals who crashed it attended the event, which was held in Alicante, Spain with over 6,000 attendees, where he was stationed at the time. A local fountain was filled with an alcoholic concoction of epic, historical proportions that included about 250 gallons of brandy, 125 gallons of wine, 1,400 pounds of sugar, 2,500 lemons, 20 gallons of lime juice, and five pounds of nutmeg, making it possibly the largest cocktail ever made.
The preparations also included about 800 servers and 150 different dishes. The bartenders engaged to serve it literally had to paddle around in a canoe and serve from it while working in 15-minute shifts to avoid passing out from the fumes because it was so enormous. The celebrations continued for about a week, even though the party wasn’t considered to be done until the fountain had been completely drained.
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The 2.500th Anniversary Of The First Persian Empire
Iran’s common citizens did not have a fantastic time at the start of the 1970s. Since the vast majority of the income created by the 1970s oil boom flowed directly to the Shah, Mohammad Reza Shah, it did very little to ease the everyday difficulties of the populace. With the growth of inflation and poverty came the beginnings of the revolution that would eventually remove him from power in 1979.
Nonetheless, the Shah still managed to plan what was maybe the most spectacular party ever held. It was planned in 1971 to commemorate the 2,500th anniversary of the first Persian empire and took place in a sizable tent city in the desert that was constructed especially for it. The taxpayers paid a total of $165 million for it, although the majority of Iranians weren’t on the guest list. In actuality, only heads of state, celebrities, sheikhs, and other wealthy merchants favored by the Shah were permitted within miles of the city.
Each of the 50 tents featured its own marble-tiled bathroom and premium Persian carpets as decor, and the entire thing was created by Maison Jansen, one of France’s most prestigious interior design firms. The menu featured more than eighteen tons of food flown in from all over the world, and the complete dining arrangement was coordinated by Maxim’s in Paris, which was at the time regarded as one of the best restaurants in the world.
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V-J (Victory Over Japan) Day
The Second World War was without a doubt the biggest and most catastrophic war in human history. Nearly everyone on the victorious side was in agreement on one thing when it was over in 1945: it was time to celebrate. It was evident that the road to rebuilding the new world would be arduous going forward.
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Truman Capote’s Masked Ball
Truman Capote’s masked ball in 1966 wasn’t a very expensive event compared to some of the other events on our list, but it would nevertheless go down in history as one of the most popular gatherings ever. A rigorously selected list of 540 guests attended the event, which was held just after the release of his most recent book, In Cold Blood, earlier that year.
In Cold Blood would go on to become a literary classic. From First Lady “Lady Bird” Johnson, artist Andy Warhol, and Frank Sinatra and his wife Mia Farrow to regular citizens from the little Kansas town where he conducted his book’s research to one of the hotel’s doormen, this group represented people from all walks of life.
The entire project cost him roughly $16,000, or about $120,000 in today’s money, but that was only because of his lackluster decorating preferences. If anything, it demonstrated that a successful party can be had without expensive decorations and a sizable meal. Nearly every significant newspaper and magazine in the nation at the time covered the masked ball, which also served as an inspiration for a great number of similarly themed events in New York in the ensuing years and decades.
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The Rothschild Surrealist Ball
The Surrealist Ball of 1972 demonstrates that the Rothschild family, arguably the richest family in history, did not rely solely on their wealth to host successful events. The party, which was hosted by Marie-Hélène de Rothschild and her husband at the Château de Ferrières, one of France’s grandest nineteenth-century chateaux, has since come to be remembered for its meticulous planning, unusual decorations, and meticulous attention to detail.
The ball lived up to its moniker, featuring all the elements of a “surrealist” celebration. It took place in the Château de Ferrières, one of France’s largest and most opulently decorated residences at the time. The who’s who of the European and American elite were invited, including Audrey Hepburn and Salvadore Dali, who created the entire event.
The entire château was redlit for the event, giving the impression that it was on fire. All of the attendees were instructed to dress up in “black tie, long gowns, and surrealism heads,” which likely explains all of the odd headdresses visible in the recently published collection of event photos. All of them were welcomed by butlers who occasionally acted like cats while costumed as cats. If that wasn’t surrealistic enough, the dinner was presented on a mannequin of a dead person, the forks were replaced with fish skeletons, and the dishes were all coated in fur.
Even while it may sound a little strange—and it was—the party was a success and is today regarded as one of Marie-best-organized Hélène’s affairs, which is saying a lot because she was known for her creative parties.
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The Original Oktoberfest
The first Oktoberfest was really organized to mark the 1810 nuptials of Princess Therese of Sachsen-Hildburghausen and Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig, who would later become King Louis I. The entire city of Munich was illuminated for the occasion, and everyone in Bavaria was invited, according to stories from the period.
Beginning on October 12, up to 40,000 people from all across the Bavarian regions, along with the nobility, partied at locations scattered throughout the city for five days as part of the celebrations. It required months of planning ahead as businesses from the Munich area competed to honor the occasion at their homes with the most opulent setups. The top 6,000 guests were entertained at four of the best restaurants in the city, and over the course of five days, around 23,000 liters of beer were eaten along with about 32,000 buns, 3,992 pounds of cheese, 900 pounds of mutton, and 13,000 pairs of smoked sausages.
The event culminated in a horse race, and because it was so successful, it has since been held annually at the same timeframe but on a much larger scale, lasting two weeks as opposed to just five days, and with numerous more events added over the ages.
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The Winter Ball Of 1903
Undoubtedly a horrific event, the Russian Revolution saw the dramatic dissolution of one of Europe’s longest-reigning royal families. Also, it was easily understood. The Tsar and his family had, to put it mildly, excessively extravagant lives for decades while the rest of the nation endured war, famine, and other difficulties.
The Winter Ball of 1903, which took place barely two years before the revolution of 1905, is a prime illustration of that. It was undoubtedly untimely, but it was by no means dull. The ball, which is frequently cited as one of the most lavish costume parties ever held, was intended to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty. The 17th century was the theme, and it was intended to reenact Alexei Mikhailovich’s heyday as Russia’s second monarch.
The costumes, each of which cost over ten million dollars at the time, for the 390 members of the Russian aristocracy who were invited to the event were created by the artist Sergey Solomko with the help of historians who were only engaged to ensure that they were accurate to the time period.
Two days of celebrations were held, beginning on February 11 with opera and ballet performances at the Hermitage Theater by some of Russia’s greatest performers at the time.
Following a magnificent dinner, the following day was totally dedicated to getting ready for the ball on February 13—the day of the costume party. As you might expect, it was an equally lavish occasion, as evidenced by the lavishly dressed-up members of the monarchy visible in the photographs that continue to influence set designers and painters today.
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Sultan Of Brunei’s 50th Birthday Bash
Hassanal Bolkiah, the current Sultan of Brunei, one of the last absolute monarchy still in existence, may not be well known to the majority of us, but his 50th birthday celebration still ranks among the biggest and most extravagant ones ever. The entire event, which lasted for over two weeks and took place in locations all over the nation, cost the royal purse almost $27 million, which is a lot even when compared to some of the other outrageously pricey events on our list.
Out of that $27 million, $17 million was given to Michael Jackson for a private performance in a stadium created especially for it, which drew about 60,000 spectators. There was also a massive, to put it mildly, grand finale dinner party held in his 1,778-room mansion, where about 3,000 of his most illustrious guests were present. At this event, Michael Jackson performed a second, more private set as well. As a thank-you present, each visitor received a personalized gold medal.
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The Congress Of Vienna
The aristocracy and nobility of those nations were unequivocal in their support of Napoleon Bonaparte’s defeat and exile during the Napoleonic Wars, despite the fact that many people reading this may have mixed sentiments about it. In October 1814, they set up the Congress of Vienna to discuss what to do next. But everything had to wait because it was time to celebrate.
It was a celebration to see, according to all accounts. Vienna’s population increased by a third as a result of this gathering of some of Europe’s wealthiest individuals, which also attracted 90 ambassadors, their staff, and two emperors, three kings, 11 princes, and two armies.
Although it was intended to be a brief celebration, it lasted for over nine months. During that time, guests traveled throughout the city in some 300 opulent carriages provided by the Austrian emperor and attended a seemingly endless series of festivities, including dinners, jousts, and boar hunts. It was even referred to as the “biggest and most extravagant party in history” by novelist and historian David King, who must have agreed because he published a whole book about the event, Vienna, 1814.
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Andrew Jackson’s Inauguration
Given the difficult circumstances that led to John Quincy Adams’ election as president in 1824, which historians and analysts refer to as the “corrupt bargain,” his resignation as President of the United States was a significant event in US political history.
In the elections of 1929, voters made amends by overwhelmingly supporting Jackson. He held an open party in the White House to celebrate with everyone, and before anyone realized it, it had grown to be one of the greatest gatherings in history.
According to some estimates, up to 20,000 people attended what could be seen as a victory of democracy against political corruption as commoners partied on the grounds of the White House with other politicians and bureaucrats. Though historians have since clarified that it was just because everyone was intoxicated and having a great time, not because Jackson had encouraged the party to turn into a mob and was thus unfit to rule, as many of his political opponents claimed at the time, things quickly got out of control, as is customary with any great party.
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