The Sun Rises In Ísafjörður

2.2.2012
Words by Paul Fontaine
Residents of the northwestern town were pleased to see the sun make its first appearance in weeks, even if "officially" several days late.

As many of our readers know, Iceland goes through a period of great darkness in the wintertime. While in the capital area, this can mean sunrise at about 10:30 and sunset at about 15:30, towns and villages in mountainous regions of the north are lucky to see any sunlight at all in the winter.

The return of the sun to some of these places is so momentous that it makes the news, as it did yesterday in Ísafjörður, when Bæjarins besta reported that residents of the town were delighted to be able to see the sun again. The accompanying picture on bb.is is photographic evidence of this return, where direct sunlight has been absent since early December.

A tradition in Ísafjörður going back over 100 years is to celebrate the return of the sun on January 25, when sunlight is supposed to fall upon Sólgata (lit. "Sun Road") for the first time all winter. In this instance, the sun was "late" by a number of days, but this did little to quell celebrations.

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