Posts tagged: Tromso Northern Lights Festival

Tromso Northern Lights Festival

By , December 15, 2009 10:56 am

Tromso Norway

What better way to see one of the most awesome displays nature has to offer then attending a northern lights festival.

The biggest known of these northern lights festivals is the one which takes place in Tromso, Norway in January each year – also known as Nordlysfestivalen. Not to be confused with the many other festivals with similar names, the festival in Tromso is at the forefront of events decidated the the actual aurora borealis (the proper name for the northern lights, in case you didn’t already know).

For weeks on end, Tromso lies in complete darkness because it is so far north that the sun never breaks over the horizon. The day it is due to finally grace the arcic city with light is cause for celebration. This is exactly what the northern lights festival is all about – to praise the first dawn of the year and to honor the northern lights. These polar nights usually run from 21 November to 21 January.

The Northern Lights Festival offers a host of music and an amazing atmosphere for locals and holiday makers. In the past, musical genres have included contemporary, symphonic, orchestra, choral, sacred, ethnic folk, musical theatre, song recitals, experimental jazz and multimedia. Essentially, there is something for almost everyone. Even if you don’t happen to fit into the fan category for any of these genres, it is still an excellent place to be.

Tromso itself is the largest city inside the arctic circle out of all the Nordic countries. It has a population of around 65,000 actual residents, which spikes when the northern lights are out. It is a common misbelief that Tromso is a small town tucked away in a place so cold that no one visits. The reality is that the city has a bustling nightlife, a colorful city, great cultural scene, great food and great people. The proximity to the Gulf Stream result in the most bearable temperatures at similar latitudes. In addition to all of this, the surrounding area is completely stunning with loads of snow, the fjords, glaciers and towering peaks.

Despite the awesome city atmposphere, it is advisable to get out of the city when it comes time to check out the northern lights properly. They are half (if not more) of the reason you would be in Tromso, so you wan’t to do it properly. Getting out of the city center yields a much better view of the northern lights similar to how a starry night is much more impressive when viewed from a dark, isolated location. The lights are most frequent between 6pm and 1am from December through March. You should allow a few days just in case the lights aren’t fully visible or are obstructed by bad weather.
Chances are you won’t want to organise this trip yourself, so there are plenty of northern lights safaris and visits to camps which run every night during this peak time.

Visiting the Tromso Northern Lights Festival is definitely one of the best ways to see the northern lights, so you should give it heavy consideration. Allow a few nights to catch a good view and explore the area. There are also a ton of other activities such as snowmobiling, dog and reindeer sledding and skiing so you will never go bored.

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