I have always been fascinated by the sky and its canopy. When I was a little girl, I remembered learning about the Aurora Borealis, and in my head, I pictured this phenomenon as grandiose as it actually is. Part of my fascination with Scandinavia and the Artic Circle revolves around the spectacle referred to as The Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis), which take their name after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek name for the north wind, Boreas.
The Aurora Borealis most often occurs near the equinoxes. The Northern Lights have had a number of names throughout history. The Cree call this phenomenon the "Dance of the Spirits". In Europe, in the Middle Ages, the auroras were commonly believed a sign from God . The lights are at their most frequent in late autumn and winter/early spring.
Theoretically, the best spots to see the lights are above the Arctic Circle in northern Norway. You can find resorts and other places catered just to this phenomenon, and Northern Lights worshippers do everything from cross-country skiing to building snowmen. You can also experience the aurora at sea. Snowmobile safaris are also available during the Winter months. I would love to see them. I have been daydreaming of visiting Scandinavia, and the Northern Lights is something I would include in my itinerary.
This, of course, is an atmospheric spectacle worthy of witnessing once in a lifetime. What do you daydream about? Is it something this lofty or something more earthy?
Images via Flickr