‘Kaamos’ is the Finnish word for the polar night. A period in Ylläs, 150km above the Arctic Circle, when the sun doesn’t rise for nearly a month. It has just started.
We’ve seen the last of the sun’s shining face set on this snowy arctic landscape. For me, it’s one of the most fascinating and unique facets of life in the arctic and it’s partly what drew me back here for my second winter in Lapland.
The allure of the frozen north has captured people’s imaginations for centuries. The stillness, the harshness of the environment, the vast open space and the simplicity of life. It’s why I choose to be here and why I think so many people fall in love with Lapland.
For about four hours each day, it does get light during the polar night. Between 10am and 2pm, the sun’s ray (if not the sun itself) poke their head above the horizon. The pre-sunrise light rolls straight into beautiful post-sunset colours: pinks and oranges fill the sky on clear, cloudless days. Then the darkness consumes the landscape once again for the next 20 hours.
But darkness doesn’t deter activity in Lapland. The skiing continues under floodlit pistes, a line of snowmobile headlights move through the forest, and the huskies run to the beam of the mushers’ head torches. And Santa’s Hideaway is even more magical with all the Christmas lights.
In Lapland, darkness is something to celebrate; it’s part of life. More darkness means a greater chance of experiencing Mother Nature’s greatest show – the aurora borealis dancing across the sky.
Winter above the Arctic Circle is, of course, the longest season but come January the sun will poke its head above the horizon again. The depths of winter pass and signs of spring will begin to creep round the corner. Each month has its unique character, and for me December and the polar night is the most magical.
Visiting Lapland during the polar night, as the region prepares for a guaranteed White Chirstmas, is an essential lifetime experience – don’t miss out on the opportunity to visit Lapland with Inghams.