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Polar Nights

Polar Nights is the romantic name for what people in northern Norway call "the dark time." As I wrote yesterday, in Tromso, there is no sunlight between 25 November and 17 January. And because of the mountains, it is actually even longer - it would end on January 17 if the sun was unobstructed, but it is not.

In general, it seems like the northerners take the darkness in stride. They light a lot of candles, cook nice meals, and spend time skiing or hanging out with their families. In Oslo, at the darkest, we still have six hours of daylight, from 9:30 to 3:40 or 4, so it is very different. But for some it can still be tough! In general, people find fall harder than winter - in fall it is so obvious that it is getting darker and before it starts snowing it feels soooo dark and grey.

It is also important to point out some mitigating factors: in the north, during the middle of the day, it does get somewhat lighter - it looks like dusk is about to arrive. And the snow makes it a LOT easier to bear because the pretty white makes it look lighter.

Comments (5)


I am not sure I could survive all of those dark days.

But, I guess it is what you are used to.

Yeah, but Nancy, we get l-o-n-g summer days that go on forever!
My area is not quite as profound in the long winter nights as these in Norway, but close!

Cool post, Chiocciola...sounds almost like home to me!

Wow, I am a night person, but I would not like it to be night all day long. So do people who live in this area ski in the dark? It must be extra cold also with no sunlight.


Interesting that Fall is harder then Winter, but I can see how snow would reflect some light.
Cool post.

Interesting that the Christmas celebrations fall within this time. Maybe that helps some. And I bet the snow does make it seem a bit brighter.

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