This Christmas, it is likely that you will have a Christmas tree complete with bright lights and many colours. This is the highlight of the season for many families and communities. These lights bring radiance, excitement and joy in tandem with the Christmas spirit.
But did you know that there are other natural, brighter, magnificent and spectacular lights than can dwarf any that your city or you can install for Christmas? Have you ever heard about the Northern Lights? Do you know the spiritual connotations attached to them? Why is everybody interested in seeing them? When is the best time of the year and day to view these beauties of the sky?
Northern Lights are bright lights within the aurora, which appear to be dancing when in actual sense they are the sun’s electrically charged particles in the process of entering the atmosphere of the earth. These lights are found right above the magnetic northern and southern hemisphere’s poles.
How Do I Spot Them?
The Northern Lights are a spectacle to behold especially because they come in a multiplicity of colours. While the dominant colours are pink and pale green, a keen observer will discern hues of yellow, violet and blue. For people who love colours, this is a spectacle that cannot be missed. It is like watching fireworks, only that this time nature is in charge and does not need human contribution – only awe and wonder!
However, do not expect to have one form of appearance when looking for the Northern Lights. Expect patches of multiple colours in the sky. Streamers have also reported seeing distributed clouds of light. You might be lucky to see these lights forming an arc like the rainbow. If you see rippling curtains of colour in the sky, these are likely to be Northern Lights. Look out also for shooting rays which will illuminate the sky and leave it with a weird radiance.
Another important aspect of the Northern Lights is how far they spread. They can be displayed in an area about 80 km wide or approximately 50 miles. In addition, these lights can be seen from afar since they extend to about 640 km high or roughly 400 miles above the surface of the earth. If you have ever seen any fireworks of this nature, you are yet to be born. Nothing we have today can match what our atmosphere can prepare and display.
Where To Catch Them?
It is important to understand that these lights do not appear the same way in all places on earth. There are spots where you can have no views of the lights. In some areas, you may be lucky to have a minimal view. However, there are particular areas on earth where you can enjoy the full serving of this unforgettable experience.
From the onset, you must understand that this spectacle occurs in the southern and northern hemispheres and that is where you can best see these lights. The Aurora Borealis and the Aurora Australis as the northern and southern displays are known respectively, take the shape of an uneven oval object that is directly above respective magnetic poles. The amazing thing is that the two spectacles are like mirror-images of one another and take place simultaneously, while exhibiting the same sets of colours.
People in far of places in the south, like New Orleans in the western hemisphere, will experience this phenomenon. Ironically, those in comparable places in the eastern hemisphere will not even realise what is happening. The people who will experience the full grandeur and majesty of these colours, however, are those in Alaska and Canadian locations such as Nunavut, Yukon and Northwest Territories. Other places where these mysterious lights can be viewed include southern parts of Iceland and Greenland and some coastal areas in Northern Norway and Northern Siberia.
The best time to watch Northern Lights is during winter because there are longer nights and more darkness and many clear nights. Midnights are also exceptionally good times to catch the lights.
Ancient Romans called the Northern Lights the “dawn of the north” and associated them with the goddess of dawn. Medieval societies believed that the sighting of these lights heralded hunger. Among some American Indians, these lights were spirits of their dead fishermen and hunters, animals they had hunted before or people who had died. In contemporary society, it is not unusual to meet people who believe these lights represent divine favour and blessings.
These lights are loved for the sheer excitement they bring to those who watch them. They have an aesthetic value and many people would like to show the photos and narrate their experiences to those who have never had the opportunity to view the spectacle. Some people also associate the lights with spiritual blessings and revelations and therefore watch the lights to fulfil a spiritual obligation.
If you’re fortunate to travel to see this amazing occurrence we would absolutely love to see your images! You can see us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/graceguru.net, send us a tweet: www.twitter.com/_graceguru_ or use our instagram hashtags #graceguruloves or #gracegurulifestyle
Have a very Merry Christmas!
Your Grace Guru