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Clare
Clare

Evening 5: New Year in Äkäslompolo

We were pretty exhausted after our cross-country skiing session yesterday, but we wanted to venture outside one more time, to see what was happening for New Year in Äkäslompolo. We got a surprise when we stepped outside our own front door and saw that we had acquired our own New Year's decoration; a candlelit display made from blocks of ice.

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As we started walking along the road towards the centre of the village, we realised that the sides of the footpath had been decorated with hundreds of little candles, embedded in the snow.

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If you thought there was a slightly funny smear in the sky in that photo above then you would be right; as we walked along the road into town we got our first proper glimpse of the northern lights :)

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It was really difficult to capture them on camera, but they were beautiful.

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As we got closer towards the lake in Äkäslompolo we started to see some other strange lights floating through the sky; these looked more like fire balls!

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Then I remembered that I had read something online about a release of lanterns from the lake to celebrate New Year.

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Sure enough, when we arrived at the lake itself we could see a crowd of people releasing lanterns.

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This was instead of an official fireworks display and it went on for ages. The northern lights seemed to have faded away for a bit, but as the clock struck midnight they reappeared :)

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We had our own display which was far more exciting than fireworks!

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We couldn't have hoped for a better start to the new year :)

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