For most of us, spending nearly two months in freezing darkness sounds terrifying. The Finns, however, seem to love this time of the year. One municipality in Finnish Lapland, Enontekiö, loves it so much that they want to share the experience of polar night, or “kaamos” in finnish, through their live camera feed "Polar Night Live" for the whole world. In Enontekiö, the sun rises again on the 8th of January 2019, so there’s plenty of time to admire the beauty of darkness.
Darkness and aurora
So what can you expect to see, then? Even though it’s nearly pitch black in Lapland, December and January are the best months for aurora hunters. Enontekiö has positioned their webcam so that you might just be lucky enough to spot the phenomenon in the northern sky. But there’s more to it than just darkness, stars and occasional aurora: between two dark periods each day when the sun sets completely below the horizon, the sky reveals beautiful colors in different shades of blue, magenta and violet. This is often referred to as “the blue moment”.
Why would anyone do such a thing?
Against all odds, the people in Enontekiö are among the happiest in Finland, enjoying every season in the middle of serene nature. If you ask them about polar night, or “kaamos”, they would most likely answer that it’s such a beautiful time of the year when everything seems calm and the nature is in hibernation. This is also the reason why Enontekiö wanted to share this rare beauty with the world - even the ones who aren’t able to travel there. Travel industry is an important source of income in Enontekiö along with reindeer herding. However, these two are in perfect balance as the people value and respect their surroundings and nature. For centuries, the Lappish people have lived off the nature and could not survive without it, hence the sustainable way of living.
Lapland is more than just Santa and reindeer
Even though travel industry is a significant source of income in Lapland, the high season is rather short between January and May. The webcam is one way to show people around the world what they’re actually missing when they only travel during the high season. Enontekiö is a remarkable place in Lapland with huge seasonal differences. For travellers, experiencing polar night is as impressive as enjoying 24 hours of sunlight in the summer during the midnight sun period. But the most impressive thing is definitely seeing how happy the people are - day and night.
The webcam is now live and you can find the live feed on Enontekiö's site here.
Or simply here: https://enontekio.fi/kunta-ja-hallinto/viestinta-2/kaamoskamera-polar-night-live/
For more information, please contact:
Enontekiö is a municipality located in Finnish Lapland on the border of Sweden and Norway. It's the 3rd largest municipality in Finland and very sparsely populated. Over 60% of Finland's fells are within Enontekiö's borders, as well as all fells that are over 1000 meters tall. Enontekiö is well-known for its wilderness and large areas of untouched nature. Tourism and travel industry are a significant source of income in Enontekiö.