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Helena Artmann has a bachelor degree in Communications with a vast experience in PR and the online world. Before moving to Canada in 2005, Helena published a variety of articles in Brazilian magazines and websites, mostly about travel, adventure, outdoor, gear, environment and her favourite activities, mountaineer and hot air ballooning. This is her website: http://artmanncommunications.com

Winter Solstice

Winter SolsticeAs explained by Wikipedia: ‘Winter Solstice is an astronomical phenomenon occurring in December every year when Sun’s elevation with respect to Earth reaches its lowest value (-25.5 degrees). It is accompanied by the longest day on South Pole and the longest night on North Pole of Earth’.

I always liked nature. And being in nature always fed my soul. So it is not weird that I like this natural phenomena called Winter Solstice. It is true that it gained a completely different meaning since I moved to Canada. I live at 51o North. If I was in South America, I should move to the Falkland Islands to be at the same latitude. Here, in Canmore, Alberta, we have the four seasons very distinct and an incredible variation in light throughout the year. Summer gives us around 18 hours of daylight and Winter just around eight. Winter Solstice marks the longest night and shortest day of the year. From here until Summer Solstice, our days will just get longer and longer and this is something to celebrate.

It is also something that took me a bit to get used to. Or, better yet, it was just bearable when I found out vitamin D in pills. I take 4000 IU every day during the Winter (or during all the months without R on it) and this changed my life. My first Winter here I was working on MEC back stock. No windows, shifts starting at 7:30 when it was still dark and finishing just before the sun was setting. It was quite a depressing time and Ricardo asked me if I was planning to move back to Brazil!

With the addition of vitamin D in my life, my energy level changed significantly during darker, colder months, letting me function as a normal person again. I should also mention that since we started buying passes for ski resorts, Winter became the most active time of the year. Ski days mean a full day outdoor, enjoying the mountains and the snow.

Back to where we were: the Winter Solstice. The day the sun’s ‘daily maximum elevation in the sky is the lowest’. It is easy to notice it from this latitude as the sun never gets to the top of the sky. It is always so low that almost seems that the sun is rising and setting throughout the day. Driving can be uncomfortable. But the lights are amazing almost all day long!

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