Restricted Icelandic daylight hours could make the whole of our winter pretty depressing if we let it, but the 21st of January has been and gone — and your editors are still alive to tell the tale.
According to alleged university professor Dr Cliff Arnall, Monday the 21st of January is officially the most depressing day of the year. He can prove it too, with one dubious mathematical equation and rather obvious references to bad weather and early nightfall. The only way to avoid this, according to the “Doctor”, is to book a holiday — not a bad thought, but it doesn’t help his credibility.
Well, even we have to admit that on the surface, Iceland is an odd choice for an uplifting holiday. We only have two seasons: winter and spring, and at the moment it’s most definitely winter: cold, damp, and — thanks to being anchored on the edge of the Arctic Circle — mostly dark. And yet we only rank number 34 on the World Health Organization’s suicide rate list. A disappointing result for most Icelanders (who like to come first at everything).
Maybe it’s because what little winter light we do have is pretty spectacular. There’s the northern lights, of course, caused by a collision of charged particles in the Earth’s magnetosphere — whatever that means. And at this latitude dawn and dusk can last for hours, so in good weather (and by “good” we mean freezing cold and snowy) Iceland is an all-day sunset — cue uplifting fluffy pink skies!
So, most depressing day of the year? Pfft, we didn’t notice. We were all happily sitting indoors, ignoring the season completely, knowing that spring is just around the corner. In late May.
Shake your blues – book a northern lights tour with Iceland Excursions; go horse-riding in the snow with Ishestar; or just have a beer in candlelit Kaffibarinn with the locals. And hey, hows about a smile?