Kaamos – Polar Night
The polar night occurs when the night lasts for more than 24 hours. This occurs only inside the polar circles. The closers to the polar circles, the longer the polar night lasts.
At Äkäslompolo, the polar night is almost as long as in Utsjoki, even though Äkäslompolo is nearly 400 km more south due to the fells surrounding the village. The polar night begins in Äkäslompolo in the end of November and the sun does not rise before the middle of January.
A local saying for this time of year is “In the middle of two darks is a twilight”:
Although it would seem that the polar night is a time of complete darkness, this is not the case at all. The snow reflects so much light that walking, cross country and downhill skiing can be done like any other time. And at clear skies, the moonlight is so strong, that you can ski or walk in the forest – even in the middle of the night!
Blue light is a light phenomenon, that only appears on winter afternoons, when the sun is setting. Sometimes the sunlight is reflected back from the athmosphere and reflects blue colors.
The blue light usually lasts for a few moments only and is affected by the weather.
It is often said that the small amount of light affects a lot of things in Lapland, one being the birth rate:
A tourist asked a Lapp, “what is it that you do at summer time, as the sun is always shining?”
– “We go fishing and make love” he replies
– “Well what about winter then?” the tourist asks a little embarrassed.
– “We don’t go fishing…”