TWILIGHT: The sun barely made it above the horizon south of Kirkenes on Norway's Barents Sea coast this weekend. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Here comes the sun

Polar night comes to an end with the sun this weekend orange-coloring the skies in northernmost Scandinavia.
January 14, 2024


“Here comes the sun. Here comes the sun. And I say, It’s alright,” sounds the George Harrison-penned track from the Abbey Road album by the Beatles. 

The track continues: “It’s been a long, cold, lonely winter.” 

The sun stays under the horizon north of the Arctic Circle midwinter. The further north you go, the longer the polar night season lasts. In Murmansk, the sun came back last week, and in Rovaniemi the week before that. Now, it is Kirkenes at 69°49’N that awaits the sun.

This photo taken from a flight approaching the local airport shows how the sun on Friday hardly made it above the horizon on the Russian side of the border for a few minutes. Downtown Kirkenes in the front is still frozen and blue-colored.

An old legend, still practiced by locals here at the top of Europe, says you will be granted three wishes when seeing the first sun after the polar night period. 

With daylight lasting longer for every day now, the countdown has started towards spring and the Midnight sun period. From late May the sun will be visible for the full 24 hours for two months here in the borderland between Russia, Norway and Finland. 





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