The perfect time of year for Northern Lights
The Northern Lights appear all year round, but they are only visible on a dark sky. In Greenland you can best watch them from the end of September to March or April, depending on where in Greenland you are.
In Kangerlussuaq, Sisimiut and Ilulissat, there are guided northern lights tours during the winter. We would almost dare to promise you the sight of northern lights on a winter trip to Greenland.
In recent years, northern lights trips to Greenland have become very popular. You can get on a non-stop flight from Copenhagen, Denmark, to Kangerlussuaq, where the Northern Lights often are there to see.
Arsarnerit – the ones who play with a ball
The Greenlandic expression for Northern Lights is ”Arsarnerit” and means ”the ones who play with a ball”. According to the old Inuit myths, the Northern Lights appear on the sky, when the dead’s souls play ball with a walrus’ cranium. This explanation wouldn’t quite stand a chance today as superstition is getting overruled many places.
The scientific explanation of the Northern Lights is that the sun’s electrically charged particles meet molecules and atoms in the Earth’s atmosphere at a height of about 60 miles. This encounter results in an incredible phenomenon with “curtains” in countless colors flapping across the sky. Yellow, green, red, white – depending on where you are, the curtains will be of different colors. No matter what color, the sight is glamorous.
Most people, as mentioned, do no longer believe in the cranium story. That doesn’t keep people in Greenland from whistling up towards the sky, trying to make the Northern Lights show more vividly. This is another myth going around. The strange thing is that it often works. But watch out for the Northern Lights not to reach out and get you, if you try. Anyways, if you dare, go ahead and try.
In certain other cultures people believe, that children conceived under the Northern Lights will become intelligent. That is why a trip to the Northern Lights is something especially wonderful for visitors from these cultures.
Play with the northern lights
In connection with your trip to Greenland, there are several excursions, on which you can get outside and experience the Northern Lights. The ones keen on data will enjoy such a guided tour, because the guide will tell you many exciting stories. On top of that, the trip is usually spiced up with a hot drink.
There is another way to keep warm underneath the Northern Lights. Play! Playing underneath the Northern Lights is just so much fun! Many watch the light with awe. There is good reason to. It is an unusually beautiful natural phenomenon. Anyway, try to imitate the Northern Lights’ play on the stage of the sky. Lie down on your back and form an angel in the snow. Or take a ride in the snow on your back, a sled or just a plastic bag.
Obviously, not everyone likes it, but something quite so fantastic happens in the moment you let go and play together with nature. And this definitely is playing with nature, not in it. Try it – no matter if you are 5, 30 or 70 years old!
How to photograph the Northern Lights?
The Northern Lights can be difficult to photograph, but at the same time it delivers the opportunity for some of the most breathtaking nature photographes. It takes a good deal of patience and the correct equipment.
Read more about how to take the best Northern Lights pictures.