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Prom Around The World


A dance celebrating nearing the end of a school year. A time to dress up. A time to make memories with friends. Not every country celebrates prom as Americans do, but most countries have their own versions of prom that have become customary in high schools. Here are five countries’ “prom” traditions.

1. Ireland

In Ireland, their version of prom is called debs. Students have the chance to attend this formal ball during their last year of secondary school (high school). This dance is generally held in a hotel or a large venue. It starts off with a formal dinner, then there is music and dancing. At debs, people sometimes spend the entire night dancing and having a good time with their friends.

2. Poland

In Poland, students during their last year of final go to Studniówka. This dance is held 100 days before the end of the school year. The attire is formal and it is held at either a hotel, large venue, or sometimes even a castle. Students, teachers, and sometimes even parents are invited. At the dance, students and teachers toast with champagne, marking the first time the students and teachers officially drink alcohol together. It is seen as a right of passage and the first step into real adulthood.

3. China

Rather than prom in China, they have a coming of age ceremony. In ancient China, these ceremonies were very traditional and practiced rituals that had been passed down from generation to generation. In modern China, when one turns 18, a fancy party is thrown to celebrate the privileges of driving, voting, and adulthood as a whole. People dress up and everyone has a great time.

4. South Africa

South African teens have the privilege of going to the matric dance. This is a dance much like prom, where during their last year of high school, the teens get to get all dressed up and have a fun night with all their friends. South African customs are sometimes intertwined with this dance.

5. India

Rather than prom in India, seniors are thrown a farewell party by the lower classmen. Students are gifted with awards and souvenirs to culminate their time at the school. Even though prom isn’t everywhere, each country has its own version for students to look forward to. Each event is celebratory and a great way to send off students to the next chapter of their lives.  

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