Christmas Lights

Unusual winter weather in the northern hemisphere has brought the strange sight of so-called light pillars over Finland.


During cold spells flat ice crystals flutter around in the atmosphere, and often turn to snow. The ice crystals reflect light from the ground, forming columns of light that appear vertical, mystical images that go up to heaven.

127px-FairbanksUAFLightPillars    190px-Light_pillars_over_Laramie_Wyoming_in_winter_night       800px-Sun_pillar_and_kitesurfers

In bright sunlight similar clouds of ice crystals also form vertical light columns that some call sun-pillars

Are such phenomena from northern latitudes the source of an idea that the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch used in some of his paintings? His pillars are weird symbols of life and vitality, mysteriously intruding into his dark world.

140px-Munch_DanceOfLife    140px-Edvard_Munch,_Lady_from_the_sea

Edvard Munch  Dawn of Life 1900  Lady from the Sea 1896

(The first image credit and copyright is with Thomas Kast – his homepage:     and his blog: