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Prom celebrations around the world

Although Americans think of prom night as a native rite of passage, countries all over the world have their own traditions when it comes to teenagers dressing up and dancing the night away.

Finland

In Finland, prom is called Vanhojen tanssit, which
Photo Credit: Väinö Peltonen via YouTube

In Finland, prom is called Vanhojen tanssit, which means "ball of the new seniors." The formal evening honors students going into their final year of high school, and often includes choreographed group dances.

Students study many styles of dance leading up
Photo Credit: Suvi Korhonen via YouTube

Students study many styles of dance leading up to their big night, and the festivities are often held in their school's gymnasium. In this video, students celebrate at their school in Helsinki, Finland in 2007.

Australia

For students in Australia, the debutante ball represents
Photo Credit: Rory Gallagher via YouTube

For students in Australia, the debutante ball represents their transition into adulthood. Pictured here is the 2016 debutante ball at Kambrya College in Australia.

The dress code for a debutante ball in
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The dress code for a debutante ball in Australia: White gowns and tuxedos only. Students learn lots of choreography for the elegant occasion, and perform several dances for their teachers and parents throughout the evening. Pictured here are students from the 2015 graduating class of the St. Alexander Nevsky Russian School in Sydney.

Poland

Studniówka, which comes from the Polish word meaning
Photo Credit: Redakcja OstrowMaz24 via YouTube

Studniówka, which comes from the Polish word meaning "one hundred days," is the counterpart of a senior prom celebration in Poland. The event is always scheduled 100 days before the final exam. The first dance of the evening is a polonaise, pictured here.

At studniówka, it's tradition for students to wear
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At studniówka, it's tradition for students to wear red undergarments to bring them luck on their final exams. Also, since the drinking age in Poland is 18, students and teachers take part in a champagne toast before dancing the night away.

Germany

Germany's tradition is called Abiball -- which translates
Photo Credit: DominoKati via YouTube

Germany's tradition is called Abiball -- which translates to "prom" -- and is celebrated by students in their final year of school. In this YouTube video, user DominoKati shares her tips to "surviving" Abiball.

At Abiball, students sport gowns and tuxedos and
Photo Credit: Paul Falk via YouTube

At Abiball, students sport gowns and tuxedos and put lots of time into their appearances beforehand. All teachers and families are invited as well, and party with the graduating class.

South Africa

Schools in South Africa throw what is called
Photo Credit: Andre O via YouTube

Schools in South Africa throw what is called a Matric Dance toward the end of the academic year to celebrate the students' matriculation into higher education. It takes place before final exams. Pictured here, students walk a red carpet at the Clarendon High School for Girls Matric Dance in East London, South Africa.

This Matric Dance took on an
Photo Credit: RMC Videographers via YouTube

This Matric Dance took on an "Alice in Wonderland" theme, and was hosted at the Lord Charlel's Hotel in Somerset West, South Africa. In some cases, the junior class will help organize and set up this event for the senior class.

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