Thousands upon thousands of school students and football supporters watched the traditional 'Scarlet Sails' celebration in Saint Petersburg on Saturday night, the climactic event of the annual White Nights festival.

Now in its 50th year, the Scarlet Sails celebration is dedicated to young people who are graduating from school. The tradition dates back to the post-World War II era when Leningrad school students were inspired by Alexander Grin's popular 1922 children's book 'Scarlet Sails'.

The scarlet-sailed ship which navigates the Neva River symbolises hope, dreams and a bright future.

The fireworks lighting up St. Petersburg's night sky and the scarlet-sailed 'Kronor' tall ship were the evening's main highlights.

This year's event coincided with the FIFA World Cup 2018, which is being held in Russia until July 15th. Many football fans staying in the city flocked to see the fireworks display.

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