Tag Archives: Astrid Andersen

Leaping year: One-day delay gives hundreds reason to jump for joy under clear skies as sun ‘returns’ after four months

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The year 2016 will be remembered as the perfect time to be bissextile.

Several hundred people experienced one of Longyearbyen’s most spectacular “return of the sun” celebrations ever, thanks to leap year delaying the ceremony from a cloudy Monday to a cloudless Tuesday. Wearing sun costumes, facepaint and other solar insignia, they began their annual chant toward the southern horizon at 12:50 p.m. while circled around an ancient set of wooden steps that have not seen sunlight in four months.

Random weirdness for the week of March 1, 2016

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We’ve long stated Longyearbyen residents are a bit dim in a way since, while the first sunrise after the three-and-a-half-month polar winter was Feb. 16, we don’t actually celebrate the first appearance of the sun until March 8. But here’s a real mental fuse-blower as everyone gears up for this year’s nine-day Solfestuka festival: