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HomeArctic blog: Jan Mayen, Spitsbergen → Sun fes­ti­val in Lon­gye­ar­by­en

Sun fes­ti­val in Lon­gye­ar­by­en

Spits­ber­gen was under full con­trol of the polar night just a few weeks ago, but now the light is retur­ning with full for­ce. The sun is get­ting hig­her up on the sky every day, and around mid-day, the migh­ty Hiorthfjel­let is alrea­dy ful­ly expo­sed to the sun.

The return of the sun is cele­bra­ted for one week in Lon­gye­ar­by­en with the tra­di­tio­nal “Sol­fest­u­ke” (sun fes­ti­val week) with a ran­ge of events. The first one was a fire­work on the night sky 🙂

Northern light Adventdalen

Nort­hern light in Advent­da­len.

The sun, herself obvious­ly not visi­ble, had clear­ly in pret­ty good mood, let­ting off steam towards us out here in space. The who­le specta­cle las­ted for a while, so we could chan­ge poso­ti­on and per­spec­ti­ve.

Northern light above Sarkofagen, Longyearbyen

Nort­hern light abo­ve Sar­ko­fa­gen south of Lon­gye­ar­by­en.

The “Spits­ber­gen­re­vye” is the tra­di­tio­nal ope­ner of the Sol­fest­u­ke. The revye brings events and peop­le on the sce­ne of old Huset in Lon­gye­ar­by­en which have moved peop­le here in one or ano­t­her way in the year that has pas­sed. Sati­re, humour and music are defi­ni­te­ly part of the event. Good fun, espe­cial­ly if you under­stand Nor­we­gi­an with a nort­hern colou­ra­ti­on and you have done your home­work and fol­lo­wed Sval­bard­pos­ten (or this blog!).

Spitsbergenrevye in Huset, Sun festival week, Longyearbyen

Spits­ber­gen­re­vye in Huset. Sun fes­ti­val week, Lon­gye­ar­by­en.
Polar bears and coal mining are always part of the show.

Ano­t­her tra­di­tio­nal part of the Sun fes­ti­val week is a church ser­vice – out­doors at Tele­lin­ken on the slo­pe of Hiorthfjel­let, whe­re you see the sun ear­lier than in Lon­gye­ar­by­en. Wea­ther per­mit­ting, that is. And it was clear and sun­ny! But cold … below -20 degrees cen­tig­ra­de, and win­dy. Cold.

Sun festival week Longyearbyen: Church service at Telelinken

Open air church ser­vice at Tele­lin­ken (I). Sun fes­ti­val week, Lon­gye­ar­by­en.

Sun festival week Longyearbyen: Church service at Telelinken

Open air church ser­vice at Tele­lin­ken (I). Sun fes­ti­val week, Lon­gye­ar­by­en.

In Lon­gye­ar­by­en, the sun will shi­ne “offi­cial­ly” again on 08 March. Prac­ti­cal­ly, it is actual­ly a bit ear­lier as you can see on the next pho­to.

Svalbard Snøskuterutleie in the sun

Sval­bard Snøs­ku­te­rut­leie in the sun – on 05 March.

The sun was shi­ning on Sval­bard Snøs­ku­te­rut­leie, lower­most in Lon­gye­ar­by­en near Advent­fjord and Advent­da­len, on Tues­day, 05 March!

Nevertheless, 08 March is the cor­rect date for historical/traditional rea­sons (unless it is a leap year). The lower­most part of Lon­gye­ar­by­en, whe­re the sun is shi­ning a few days ear­lier, did not exist back then. As soon as the sun is seen from in Skjæ­rin­ga, the oldest part of Lon­gye­ar­by­en whe­re amongst others Sval­bard Kir­ke (the church) is loca­ted, it is time to cele­bra­te – that will be on Fri­day!

By the way, my new book is in print and it can now be orde­red 🙂 it is a pho­to book with the tit­le “Nor­we­gens ark­ti­scher Nor­den (3): Die Bären­in­sel und Jan May­en”, with Ger­man text Click here for fur­ther details!



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last modification: 2019-03-06 · copyright: Rolf Stange