The polar night

Starting this week the sun does not rise above the horizon in Kiruna until January, 2024. This doesn’t in any way mean that Kiruna, during this period of polar night, is covered in complete darkness until the beginning of next year. You always have Kaamos.

If you translate it directly, Kaamos means – darkness. But those who live in the polar regions know that’s not the case. It’s how the snow magically reflects blue light; Kaamos is the word used for this particular light phenomenon. Call it the blue hour, or the blue light, around and above the Arctic circle in December and January.

Sometimes from 10 am in the ‘morning’ until 3 pm, there is daylight. If you look north, the sky is blue. But if you look south, there is a blush along the horizon, coloured by the sun. Around 2 pm every afternoon, and for about fifteen minutes on a clear day, there’s a strange phenomenon that we can call the blue moment. Everything, the snow-covered landscape, as well as the sky, is illuminated by a special, magical blue light. This natural phenomenon only occurs in the Arctic and can’t be experienced anywhere else.

Photo: Peter Rosén/