"The Yule Ball is of course a chance for us all to — er — let our hair down."
Minerva McGonagall on the Yule Ball[src]

The Yule Ball is a tradition of the Triwizard Tournament. It is a formal dance held on the evening of Yule (the pagan Winter solstice/Christmas celebration) of a tournament year, and is opened by the tournament champions and their partners. 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.[1]

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.

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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, but neither couple enjoyed themselves.[2] Hermione wore a beautiful 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, respectively.


Harry and Ron with their dates

The wizarding band The Weird Sisters played at the event, and for many it was a great success. A feast was held as part of the ball, in which both goulash and stew were served.

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.[1]

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.

Notable Yule Ball partners

Krum Granger

Hermione Granger and Victor Krum

1994 Triwizard Tournament Champions

1994 Triwizard Tournament Champions Yule Ball dates

Other couples

Behind the scenes


Karkaroff, Snape, McGonagall, Dumbledore and Unidentified female Hogwarts teacher at the Ball.

  • 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 couples during the ball had a lasting relationship, because they either separated later (Harry and Ron were not on speaking terms with the Patil twins for a while), ended in a more tragic way (Cedric died during the third task, which caused great pain to Cho), or simply stayed as friends (Hermione and Viktor stayed in touch with each other through mail, and Viktor was disappointed to learn Hermione was "sort of" in a relationship with Ron).
  • The word Yule is pronounced in a similiar 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 and Seamus Finnigan dances with a Beauxbatons girl while Draco Malfoy dances with another unidentified Beauxbatons girl played by Danielle Crockford. Also, 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. 
  • It's not known if Luna Lovegood attended the Yule Ball because she would not be introduced until book five. However, as a third-year student with few friends, it's unlikely that she would have been invited.


The Harry Potter Wiki has 42 images related to Yule Ball.

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter 23 (The Yule Ball)
  2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter 22 (The Unexpected Task)
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