Today is the shortest day of the year in this hemisphere. For those of you who live a lot closer to the equator- which is quite easy to achieve – that doesn’t necessarily mean much. But up here quite far north, the angle to the sun means a very big difference between summer and winter in terms of daylight:
Sun up: 8:41 am. Sun down: 15:36 (3:36 pm). Day length: 6 hours 55 min.
Just short of 7 hours of day. Which makes the day 10 hours and 33 minutes shorter than the longest one in June. To save you from having to do the math – our longest day this summer was 17 hours 28 minutes… 🙂
Such long days mean that the evenings are very light in Denmark at the height of summer. The photo here on the right is from a scouting summer camp some years back – probably shot some time between 23 (11pm) and Midnight. After sunset but still…
The picture at the top of the post is from last week sometimes – shot some 45 minutes after official sunset. The definition of sunset is actually not that sharp – “the time where the sun’s center or upper edge disappears under the horizon”. That still leaves some light in the sky – hence the beautiful colour gradient above:)
Even if it is not normally cold and snow-covered, however you look at it, Denmark is just dark in mid-winter. Which is what is behind my favourite quote about Denmark and darkness –
Sober-faced Danes queue at the bus stop in the rain, which they do not flinch at, and it dawns on you that a daylong rain is not unusual, this is a North Atlantic winter. The sun won’t shine tomorrow, maybe not the next day. You have arrived in a land where Christmas means more than in, say, Barbados; it is the last outpost on the long grim trek toward spring. Dark gray sky at noon, dull brown brick all around, dead trees, broken glass in the gutter, and you, sorry you, your head like a sponge full of mud. At first you think it’s jet lag, and then you realize that everyone else feels this way too. Welcome to the birthplace of existentialism.
National Geographic, “Civilized Denmark”, July 1998.
And lastly: please, we have no polar bears in the streets – at least not in this part of the Danish kingdom. You’d have to go to Greenland – yes, that is Danish territory – for that.
Engang til – Sneakers
Rough Boy – ZZ Top
Get Out Of Your Lazy Bed – Matt Bianco
Get Over It – The Eagles
When A Man Loves A Woman – Percy Sledge
Photo by me.