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Home* News and Stories → Return of the sun cele­bra­ted in Lon­gye­ar­by­en

Return of the sun cele­bra­ted in Lon­gye­ar­by­en

The return of the sun to Lon­gye­ar­by­en, sol­fest in Nor­we­gi­an, is tra­di­tio­nal­ly cele­bra­ted on 08 March, the day when the sun is direct­ly visi­ble from town after several mon­ths of polar night. This is the case at the stair­ca­se of the old hos­pi­tal, which does not exist any­mo­re (but a repli­ca of the stairs is the­re), near the church.

Usual­ly, the sol­fest comes with a who­le seri­es of cul­tu­ral events over several days, the sun cele­bra­ti­on week (sol­fest­u­ke). The cul­tu­ral part suf­fe­red obvious­ly hea­vi­ly from coro­na restric­tions.

Sun festival 2021, Longyearbyen

Sun fes­ti­val 2021, on 8 March in Lon­gye­ar­by­en. Pho­to © Max Schwei­ger.

Max Schwei­ger is in Lon­gye­ar­by­en and kind­ly pro­vi­ded a cou­p­le of pho­tos of today’s cele­bra­ti­on.

The sun is actual­ly visi­ble from lower Lon­gye­ar­by­en, near the shore of Advent­fjord, but this part of Lon­gye­ar­by­en, now known as Sjøs­kren­ten, did not exist when the tra­di­ti­on of the sun cele­bra­ti­on was star­ted.

Every year, a new emblem is made the sun fes­ti­val. It is cho­sen from drawings made in Longyearbyen’s kin­der­gar­tens. This year’s selec­tion is clear­ly very appro­pria­te!

Sun festival 2021 in Longyearbyen

This year’s emblem for the sun fes­ti­val. Pho­to © Max Schwei­ger.

With the sun cele­bra­ti­on, the long polar night is “offi­cial­ly” over in Lon­gye­ar­by­en. The late win­ter with a lot of light is now the­re, fol­lo­wed by a short spring and then the sum­mer with the mid­ni­ght sun. A lot of light that fol­lows on a long, dark peri­od. May this very soon be the case also for the rest of the world!

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last modification: 2021-03-08 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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