Ball held on Christmas Day, when a Triwizard Tournament is occurring
The Yule Ball is a tradition of the Triwizard Tournament. It is a formal dance held on Christmas night of a tournament year, and is opened by the tournament champions and their partners in the Champions Waltz.
At Hogwarts, where the Yule Ball was held in 1994, only students of fourth year or above were permitted to attend, though younger students could also go if an older student invited them to accompany them. The ball begins at 8:00 p.m. and ends at midnight.
Yule Ball in 1994
1994 was the first time in a very long while that the Triwizard Tournament, and thus the Yule Ball, was held. The ball was open to students in the fourth year and above, meaning Harry, Ron, and Hermione were of the right ages to go. Younger students were also allowed to attend provided they were invited by an older student. Ginny Weasley was able to attend, as she was asked by a fourth year student, Neville Longbottom. All tournament champions were required to attend, and they must have a dance partner, as traditions are for them to open the dance. In addition, the partners of the champions played an integral part of the second task.
The announcement of the ball caused something of a panic in Harry and Ron, who were worried about their abilities to find dates. They then made an agreement that they would both have partners by the time the got to the Gryffindor Common Room, but they didn't. Harry asked Cho Chang when they ran into each other on the stairs of the Owlery, but she had already agreed to go with Cedric Diggory. Ron blurted out an invitation to Fleur Delacour, under the influence of her Veela charm, and then ran away. He then suggested that he attend with Hermione and Harry take Ginny, but Hermione had already — and secretly — accepted the invitation of Viktor Krum, and Ginny had agreed to go with Neville. Harry managed to get himself and Ron dates in Parvati and Padma Patil.
Harry wore robes of bottle green that went well with his eyes and Ron wore a second-hand robe that was more "traditional". Hermione wore a beautiful blue gown and fancy hairstyle, and had a wonderful time dancing with Viktor. Harry and Ron did not even ask the twins to dance, instead spending most of their time sulking and watching Cho and Hermione dancing with their partners, Cedric and Viktor, respectively.
During the ball, Harry and Ron overheard a conversation between Rubeus Hagrid and Madame Maxime in which Hagrid admitted to being a half-giant. This conversation was overheard by Rita Skeeter in her animagus form, who published the information in the Daily Prophet.
When the ball ended, many students expressed their wish that it would go on longer, but Harry found himself perfectly happy for the ball to end, as he didn't think the evening particularly fun.
Behind the scenes
- Colloquially, the terms "Yule" and "Christmas" are often used interchangeably, but, more technically, Yule is a traditional winter festival that was celebrated in Northern Europe in pre-Christian times. It celebrated the winter solstice and involved great feasts.
- None of the identified couples during the ball had a lasting relationship; most either separated later, or simply stayed friends.
- The word Yule is pronounced in a similar way as Jul in Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian which means 'Christmas'. It is also the root for the Finnish word Joulu, which also means Christmas.
- In the film version, Professor Dumbledore dances with Professor McGonagall, Seamus Finnigan dances with a Beauxbatons girl, and Draco Malfoy dances with another unidentified Beauxbatons girl played by Danielle Crockford.
- There were two bands. The first was a traditional orchestra for ball room dancing; the second was a Wizard-themed rock band with a mosh pit.
- All the champions' dates attend Hogwarts, even though only two champions attend Hogwarts.
- In the film, it shows Professor Snape being present along with the other professors from Hogwarts, however in the novel, Professor Snape never attended the Yule Ball itself. However, during the seventh-book, Snape's memories show Dumbledore and Snape did have a conversation about the darkening Dark marks as the Yule ball was concluding.
- Since Harry was a 4th year himself, it may be that the participants of the ball must be the same age as the champions or older.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (video game) (GBA version only)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film) (Mentioned on poster in extra feature)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film) (Flashback on Disc 2)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Building the Magical World (Mentioned only)
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- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (Mentioned only)