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After months of darkness, the people of Tromsø celebrate the fact that the sun is back and showing its beautiful colours.
Published: 21 January 2016
Throughout the winter, the light is quite unique in Northern Norway. The northern lights dancing across the sky are well-known to many travellers. However, you might not know that during winter the sun doesn’t shine at all many places. Because of the earth’s tilt away from the sun, it never quite climbs over the horizon. This is called a polar night and occurs when the night lasts for more than 24 hours.
The polar night often lasts from November until January. Then, on 21 January, the inhabitants of Tromsø can celebrate The day of the sun to highlight the fact that the sun is back and that the days will be gradually longer (until the summer, when the sun doesn’t set at all).
Look at this beautiful photo that the newspaper iTromsø shot of the returning sun:
In Northern Norway, the inhabitants traditionally eat pastries during the Sun day. In Tromsø, these two handed out free buns and coffee during the early hours of the morning:
These two took a hike in the mountains in order to get the first glimpse of the sun:
It’s not hard to imagine just how welcome a sighting like this is, after so many weeks of polar night:
The newspaper Nordlys went hunting for the sun and made a beautiful photo series (text in Norwegian only).
The psychology researcher Kari Leibowitz spent a year in Tromsø. She wrote an interesting piece in The Atlantic on the lights of the north and why the rates of seasonal depression are remarkably low.
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