Tradition Hotel Kultahovi

Nordlichter – Kuovsâkkâsah



Die Nordlichter sind das wohl bekannteste Naturphänomen Lapplands. Inari liegt in der sogenannten Nordlicht-Zone. In dieser Nordlicht-Zone funkeln die Nordlichter circa 200 Tage im Jahr. Manche dieser Nordlichter erscheinen allerdings zur Zeit der nachtlosen Nächte, was natürlich bedeutet, dass die Nordlichter dann nicht zu sehen sind.

Die Nordlicht-Zone

The Aurora oval is an oval-shaped area around the magnetic poles of the earth and in these areas the Lights occur. The Northern oval is located approximately 2000 km from the northern magnetic pole. The oval shrinks and expands in north-south direction according to magnetic activity. When the Aurora activity is on an ordinary level, Inari is in the middle of this zone and this is why the Northern Lights are so common in our area. If the oval expands wide because of high activity, it concurrently moves to the south and the Lights can be seen in southern Lapland or even southern Finland. When the oval shrinks, it is located on the northern side of Inari.


Solar activity and sunspots are connected to the occurrence of Northern Lights, as sunspots cause flares from the sun and increase the amount of electrical particles that reach our atmosphere and cause the phenomena. The amount of sunspots on the sun’s surface varies in an 11 year long cycle and the extremities are knows as solar maximum and solar minimum. Sunspots are not however the only thing, that affects the occurrence of Northern Lights especially in the far north. Research has shown that in the very north, for example on the Spitzbergen islands this variation doesn’t really have any affect. In the southern areas the Northern Lights become rare during the solar minimum. Other factors in the frequency of Northern Lights are the strength of the solar wind and the disturbances in our magnetic fields. The solar wind brings the particles to our atmosphere and disturbances in the magnetic field pull these particles towards the earth’s poles. On the hot gas atmosphere, on the surface of the sun there are more permanent coronal holes during the solar minimum so that the stream of particles has a more steady flow with the solar wind towards the earth.

Statistically the occurrence of the Northern Lights is highest during the weeks around the autumn and spring equinoxes. This is caused by earth’s tilted positioning towards the sun and the shield of the magnetic field is weakened, allowing the stream of particles to our atmosphere more easily.

Unsere Nordlichtkamera

Auf dem Dach unseres Hotels befindet sich die sogenannte Nordlichtkamera, welche vom über ihr gelegenen Himmel jede Minute ein 360° Foto aufnimmt. Das Bild wird dann auf die Bildschirme aller unserer Fernseher übertragen, welche sich im Restaurant, sowie in den Hotelzimmern befinden.

Von den sich immer erneuernden Fotos können wir vom inneren des Hotels folgendes herausfinden:

  1. Wir sehen welches Wetter in Inari im Moment ist. Falls das Bild hellgrau ist, ist es Wolkig. Falls es schwarz ist und kleine helle Pünktchen zu sehen sind, ist der Sternenhimmel klar.
  2. Wenn die Nordlichter anfangen sich zu bilden, werden sie erst einmal als dünner grauer Streifen sichtbar, welcher sich meist einmal quer durch den Himmel schlängelt. Dann heißt es geduldig auf die nächsten Bilder warten, wann sich die Nordlichter verstärken. Sie können auch mal kurz nach draußen schauen, ob sie mit dem bloßen Auge schon etwas erkennen können.
  3. Auf den Bildern ist eindeutig zu sehen, wann die Nordlichter wirklich stark werden und dann heißt es warme Sachen anziehen und nach draußen gehen.
  4. Unsere Kamera ist sehr sensibel, deshalb kann man erst etwas auf ihr erkennen, wenn es draußen wirklich dunkel ist.

Welcher Platz ist ideal um Nordlichter zu beobachten?

Das Aurora-Oval ist eins der Kriterien um die Nordlichter wirklich gut sehen zu können. Es gibt aber noch andere Faktoren, die es wahrscheinlicher machen sie gut zu sehen. In einem kleinen Ort wie Inari zum Beispiel, ist der Lichtgrad sehr gering, womit es einfach ist, von den Strassenlichtern weg ins Dunkle zu gehen um die Nordlichter besser zu bewundern. In Inari gibt es viele gute, nicht weit entfernte, Stellen um die Nordlichter besser zu sehen. Hinter unserem Hotel, am Ufer des Juutua Flusses, gibt es kein Licht, ausser unserem Landschaftslicht, welches wir sofort abschalten sobald sich am Himmel Nordlichter bilden.

Aurora activities

The short-term weather forecast is the most important factor on which Aurora activity we recommend to our guests. If the forecast predicts cloudy weather, we recommend taking part in an Aurora hunt by car. Our local safari company has experienced guides and our location at the crossroads gives your party the chance to easily head out to whichever direction seems most promising for clear skies.

If the weather in Inari will be clear, you can easily see the Northern Lights independently near the hotel areas. If your wish is especially to take great photographs of the Lights, we would recommend to join an Aurora Camp, which would be located in a light pollution free area and you can get some photo tips from the guides. All other Aurora programmes will also take you to a dark area and always include some other nice activity, for example snowshoeing and reindeer sleighing. Here you can see the Aurora activities available in our area and you can easily book them on the spot as well, when we have seen the weather forecasts.

Lesen Sie mehr über die Nordlichtsaktivitäten hier

Aurora stories

In Finnish folklore the Northern Lights are born when a red fox brushes the lights with its fluffy tail onto to sky, and from this myth comes the Finnish name for Northern Lights, ‘the Fox Fires’. In Sami language Northern Lights are called ‘kuovsâkkâsah’ and emeritus professor for Sami languages Pekka Sammallahti believes that the name is connected to a local bird, the Siberian Jay, ‘kuovskâ’ in Inarisami language. This bird’s colourful feather coat and dashing movements resemble the reddish and lively Northern Lights. The Skolt Sami people have believed that the red Northern Lights have been born, when a mythical hero called Náinâs had a cut on his leg and the bled onto the sky.

In the northern areas there are quite a few traditional rules on how to behave with the Northern Lights. It is absolutely forbidden to tease them in any way, for example by whistling, as they will descend and snatch you up. At all occasions, your behaviour should be peaceful and quiet. Very often we do hear loud whoops of joy from outside, but never mind, we understand that while witnessing this great spectacle of nature, it is impossible to control it.

The Northern Lights have been researched from numerous different viewpoints. In recent years for example it has been researched if the Northern Lights make any sounds. Our father Reino has been telling stories how sometimes the Lights can make bangs or they may crackle and also sometimes he has smelled something burning while watching the Lights. Scientist have at least had observations of sounds originating in the Northern Lights.

Kaisu’s Northern Lights story:

I met my English husband-to-be Lee for the first time here in Inari in 1994, during a solar maximum. During the autumn we had seen many great displays of the Northern Lights but at that time the only tourists interested in them were the Japanese. Lee had travelled for a short break with his university friends to Lapland. After having arrived to Inari his friends started to watch tv. Lee thought that he hadn’t come all this way to watch the telly and headed outside from a nearby youth hostel. Almost immediately he saw a fantastic display of the Lights above Inari. It was so impressive, that he headed off to find a phone to call his family back in England. He noticed the triangular light sign for Kultahovi in the distance and headed that way. Inside he found a phone to use and behind the bar his future wife, I. And the rest is history as they say.”