September 6, 2015 | The Aurora Zone
JRR Tolkien’s new book has just been released, a tale based on Finnish legend and myth. Edited by Verlyn Flieger, The Story of Kullervo is possibly one of the author’s darkest stories, based on one of the many national myths of the Finnish people. Kullervo is an orphan boy raised into slavery – a tragic hero who eventually throws himself on his own blade. The legend is also believed to be the basis for Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
But it’s not only Tolkien and Shakespeare who have been inspired by Finland. The Northern Lights which appear across Finnish Lapland between September and April have been a source of inspiration, myth and legend for generations. Watching the spectacle that is the Northern Lights we know that the light show is created by the interaction of electronically charged particles on our atmosphere, but what must our ancient ancestors have thought as they stood and beheld the skies ablaze with light?
In Finland the legends around the Northern Lights say the Aurora was caused by a fox, which ran so fast across the snow, sparks flew from his tail into the night sky. The Finnish word for the lights is “revontulet”, which literally translates as Fire Fox – coincidentally the name, and obvious inspiration behind the web browser of the same name – just look at the browser’s logo.
As the first sighting of this season’s Northern Lights was reported just last week in Finnish Lapland plus the fact the experience was recently voted the number one item on the UK public’s bucket list, The Aurora Zone is expecting a bumper year.
Alistair Mclean, of The Aurora Zone says: “”Every time I stand on a frozen Finnish lake watching the aurora blaze overhead, I can’t help but think about how our ancestors must have interpreted the lights. Finland is a magical place, steeped in myth, folklore and magic, I can easily understand how Tolkien would have found inspiration there”
“Last season was a great time to see the wonderful displays that the Aurora brings, but this season should be just as good. Going by the interest we’re already getting bookings will be strong this year. The Northern Lights aren’t only a winter experience either. Autumn is a great time to go, with dark skies the Aurora is just as visible as the winter months, plus it’s warmer and there is often less cloud cover.”
Here are some great ways to check out the fire-fox in Finland.
The beauty of this time of year is that it offers guests so many unique experiences which are only possible during the autumn. These include the chance to see the Aurora reflected in the, as yet, unfrozen lakes or witnessing the abundance of wildlife preparing for the long winter.
This four-night trip costs from £1,045 pp and includes activities such as an aurora workshop, nature centre visit and hike in the Pallas National Park, a visit to a reindeer farm, a visit to a sled dog centre, two Northern Lights hunts, a wilderness cookery school and an aurora campfire. Also included are Flights (London), four nights’ accommodation (full board, two sharing), cold-weather clothing (if required), local transfers and expert guides. Departures in October and November 2015.
Join one of the Aurora Camps near Lake Inari in Finnish Lapland. While the Northern Lights dance above your head they can also be reflected in the calm waters of Finland’s third largest lake, it’s simply breathtaking.
The trip costs from £1,250 pp for four nights and includes activities, aurora hunts, cold-weather clothing (if required), flights (London), four nights’ accommodation (full board, two sharing), local transfers and guides. Departures from September – November 2015.
This holiday offers you the chance to really get to know the traditions and culture of the Sámi people of Lapland. You will be surrounded by the wilds of the Arctic and is at the heart of the Aurora Zone helping to maximise your chances of catching a glimpse of the Northern Lights.
This four-night trip costs from £1,575 pp and includes a Sámi snowmobile safari, aurora snowshoe walk, a reindeer safari, cross country skiing, an aurora hunt, husky safari and an aurora snowmobile safari. Also includes flights (London), four nights’ accommodation (full board, two sharing), cold-weather clothing, local transfer and expert guides. Departures from December 2015 to March 2016.
Muotka and Nellim are owned by the Lappalainen family and are two of our most popular destinations. The local expertise that the guides provide means that not only do guests gain an insight into the local culture and way of life, but your chances of seeing the Northern Lights are increased.
The seven-night trip costs from £1,925 pp and includes an aurora workshop, an aurora camp, snowmobile safari to a reindeer farm, an aurora snowshoe hike, cross-country skiing, a visit to Inari Sámi Siida Museum, a wilderness snowmobile safari, an aurora hunt in snowmobile-pulled sleigh and a husky safari. Also includes flights (London), seven nights’ accommodation (full board, two sharing), cold-weather clothing, local transfer and expert guides. Departures from November 2015 to March 2016.
A full list of Aurora-hunting itineraries is available at www.theaurorazone.com. To discuss Aurora-hunting tours with an experts, please call The Aurora Zone on 01670 785 012.
Images credit: Markku Inkila – taken in Nellim and Menesjarvi.