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The Arctic Polar Night

The mystical dark season is in full swing – Ain’t no sunshine but a lot of time to enjoy of the unique light shows!

The Blue Hour @littleoldlady93

The Blue Hour – Neither full daylight nor complete darkness. photo: Lyngen Ski og Klatring

The Polar Night lands over the village

The darkest days of the year are underway, it is midday and the sun is not visible even in clear weather. We don’t even expect to see a single ray of sunshine until the second half of January, as the sun won’t rise above the horizon in a couple of months.

Now patience and a good ability to adapt to darkness are needed. But before it starts to sound too melancholic, must be mentioned that this dark season has also its bright side.

The bright colors shining from the darkness

Northern Lights, photo Kjetil Ydstebø @turfilm

The Northern Lights dancing in the darkness above the mountains is an incredible show! photo: @turfilm

We have found out, it’s this mystical darkness that also fascinates and attracts people. The Polar Night and the bright colors shining from its darkness are exotic for millions of people all over the world.

The darkness means that we have plenty of time to enjoy the Northern lights, the starry sky and the very unique shades of purple in the sky.

  • Check out the fascinating pictures of the Arctic light shows by Jem Burrows – Nightscape Photography
  • Follow Aurora alerts and check the Northern Lights forecast: Norway Lights

From the Nightless Nights to the Endless Nights

How do we survive without sunshine?

There’s very little traffic in the mountains at the moment. Many are waiting for spring and increasing daylight.

There are four very different and interesting seasons here in the Nordics. Of these, winter is still the longest here above the Arctic Circle. Surely many, especially those living below the Arctic Circle, are wondering what are we doing here in the darkness of the North during the Polar Night season. Some may have an idea of ​​Lappish people lurking in their cottages.

The full Moon, photo: Jem Burrows - Nightscape Photography

The full Moon lurking over the mountains and illuminating the white landscape with its glow. by: Jem Burrows – Nightscape Photography

We don’t deny that without proper daylight the dark season can feel really tiring. That is probably normal, considering also that in the summertime we run in the mountains and seas around the clock when we can’t get sleep while the sun is shining through the night. For many, the Polar Night season is a much needed time for calming and charging.

Now we want to tell a little more of what’s going on here in the Arctic during “Mørketid”.

The glow in the darkness

Mørketid tour in Lyngen @littleoldlady93

The Polar Night (eng) – Mørketid (nor) – Kaamos (fin). Our mystical friend.

We have adapted to living a part of the year without sunlight. Many of us don’t let the darkness stop outdoor pursuits and wandering around the mountains. When the natural light is getting low, we use headlamps and other artificial lighting and, if possible, of course the atmospheric shine of a campfire and candles.

Lavvu & campfire, photo: Jem Burrows - Nightscape Photography

A traditional Norwegian Lavvu with cosy campfire lightning inside and the vibrant Northern Lights outside, photo: Jem Burrows – Nightscape Photography

In the mid-winter mountain lovers can spend quality time outdoors. Lyngen is one of Scandinavia’s top destination for ice climbing, snowshoeing and ski-touring trips. The wild nature of Lyngen Alps is an endless playground for many experienced “mountain goats” but also a great place to practice mountaineering skills with the local mountain guides.

Leave only ski tracks behind. Skitouring is ecological choice for going to the mountains. photo: Lyngen Ski og Klatring

Autumn and early winter are the time of rest for many people working in the tourism industry, but also a preparation period for the lively winter season. November is a quiet month in the north and due to the Corona pandemic, it seems that also the mid-winter is going to be particularly quiet in the tourism and travel industry.

The best we can do at the moment is to take advantage of this quietness and use the time to plan something even better while keeping the mind clear and thoughts fresh.

 Time for creativity and creation

The Polar Night's skitouring, photo: Katja Pekkala @littleoldlady93

Reaching the light for the mountain adventures in the dark season requires good timing. Hike up and draw your line down. photo: @littleoldlady93

“Kaamos” is is also known as the season of creation and inspiration. We probably spend more time indoors which leads to going wild of crafts, art, music, baking, poetry and so on. Color therapy, digging your fingers into the dough and flying imagination are surely doing good for many of us every now and then.

Art is a universal language with a diverse range of activities so beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Creativity takes courage.

Chill out.

The masterpiece by Mulla the Alaskan malamute. It’s called “Chill out”  photo: @snannannaa