Even before biochemical and genetic approaches were employed, many researchers were captivated and astounded by mitosis. Cell biologists have been enthralled by its sheer beauty for more than a century (Fig. 1). Yanagida, who probably contributed more to the genetic dissection of mitotic processes than any other scientist, described it as a "cellular festival", dramatically thrust between the humdrum chores of daily life. True enough; if the cell cycle were a theatrical performance, mitosis would be the final climatic act. In this Spotlight, a few of the exciting aspects of mitosis are reviewed.