Reindeer in Kaamos-time, Lapland

by Renae

I love this card. The image is serene, beautiful.

I also love what I learned about Kaamos-time while doing research.

“Kaamos-time is not the coldest time of year. The winter’s most freezing part begins at the end of Kaamos, the time of year when people in northern Finland live in a dim blue twilight. There are only four hours of light during the day. It is not pitch dark but visibility is almost as good during bright moonlit nights as during the days, because the moon light shimmers on the snow and reflects off of it. As well as the snow reflecting light the winter sky is lit with northern lights.

Animals living up north during winter have adapted to this lack of sun light. The scantiness and total lack of natural light cause more problems for humans than animals. Constant darkness has many effects on the human mind and body; some tire easily, some lose their sleep rhythm and others crave sweets. On the other hand, Kaamos is a perfect time to wind-down and regain one’s strength.

Kaamos is the opposite of the summer’s midnight sun. Both phenomenons are based on the axis of the Earth and our planet’s tilted position towards the sun. During winter the North Pole is tilted away from the sun and is therefore left in shade.

The further north one travels the shorter the time of daylight is each day and the longer Kaamos lasts. The North Pole is for this reason the darkest point. The time of blue twilight begins at the end of September and lasts to the middle of March. In the northernmost village in Finland, Nuorgam the sun drops below the horizon at the end of November and stays there to the middle of January, the darkness thus lasting bout two months. In the Ivalo area Kaamos lasts 37 days. When the northernmost part of the planet is draped in the deepest darkness at the end of December the South Pole is washed over by the midnight sun.”


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