Why you need to see the Northern Lights once before you die


Why you need to see the Northern Lights once before you die

Other than the fact that climate change has put them on the clock

By ELLE team  November 29th, 2016

Seeing Aurora Borealis with your own eyes is about as close to witnessing magic as you’ll come to in this life. Mother Nature’s CGI occurs when electrically charged particles from the sun collide with each other on entry into the Earth’s atmosphere. Since the Northern Lights are visible over the North and South Pole, you’re most likely to witness the phenomenon in Norway, Iceland and Finnish Lapland.

“People go to watch light shows in different colours shapes and sizes but nothing, believe me nothing, compares to watching a natural light show put on by nature that no one else can control,” says travel entrepreneur Yogi Shah.   

After first experiencing the phenomenon with his wife, Suchna, seven years ago in the Finnish Lapland, Yogi set up The Villa Escape, something of a passion project aimed at exposing Indians to the Northern Lights. “Over the last two years, the enquires have grown exponentially. This trip has become a ‘bucket list’ experience which people want to tick off,” he explains.

Chasing the Northern Lights 

  • The Lights are seen best away from the city as there is ‘light pollution’ and one needs a dark sky to see them properly.
  • The Lights are visible only in winter, when temperatures can get to as low as -18 to -20. So layer up.
  • You have to be patient to see this display of magic since it is subject to weather conditions

To catch the Lights, head out of the city once it gets dark. Normally the experienced guides are in touch with each other and once someone sees the Lights, everyone is informed and they change their route accordingly. “We usually have a bonfire with some mulled wine and roast marshmallows at a camping spot until the Lights are spotted. The show can go on for a couple of seconds to half an hour depending on the weather,” Yogi explains. “The usual colour is green but if you are lucky, you can see hues of violets and reds.”