Greeting Sun On Spitsbergen

Stanislav Schubert. Photo by Viktor Kobzar
Stanislav Schubert. Photo by Viktor Kobzar

On February 23, the Russian village of Barentsburg on Spitsbergen celebrated the holiday of the greeting of the Sun, which coincided with Defender of the Fatherland Day. The event was attended by a representative of the Novosibirsk Regional Branch of the Russian Geographical Society, director Stanislav Shubert, who shot exciting footage of the folk festival.

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The celebration of the greeting of the Sun in Barentsburg. Photo by Stanislav Schubert
The celebration of the greeting of the Sun in Barentsburg. Photo by Stanislav Schubert

Sun Greeting Day is the main and most anticipated holiday of polar explorers. The last time the Sun appeared from behind the mountains in the village of Barentsburg in mid-October. On the occasion of the celebration, a festive program with dancing and competitions was organized on the main square. Barentsburgers and guests of the city warmed up with tea, tasted kulish and kebabs, faced off in a tug of war, danced, and skated on the world's northernmost ice rink. Despite the cloudy weather, on this day the Sun still peeked out from behind the clouds, which greatly pleased the participants of the holiday.

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The Sun in Barentsburg. Photo by Stanislav Schubert
The Sun in Barentsburg. Photo by Stanislav Schubert

“I arrived in Spitsbergen a few days ago to continue filming for the 100th anniversary of Barentsburg, celebrated this year. In February and March, the archipelago is very beautiful – the polar night is already ending, and everything around is covered with the purest snow, which is colored in many shades from the unreal illuminated sky. I shot the chronicle of the holiday on film; this material will become an interesting episode of the film. The material has already been sent to Moscow," Stanislav Schubert shared his impressions.

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Barentsburg in the sunlight. Photo by Stanislav Schubert
Barentsburg in the sunlight. Photo by Stanislav Schubert

In Barentsburg, Stanislav is working on the restoration of Soviet cinema equipment, and also organizes film screenings of Soviet and foreign movies, which are perfectly preserved in the local film repository. So, on February 20, the day of remembrance of the famous Russian polar explorer Georgy Sedov, Schubert miraculously managed to find the feature film "Georgy Sedov" from 1974 and show it using a film released 50 years ago. And on February 23, the Barentsburgers saw the picture "In the Zone of Special Attention" on a wide screen. The film copy was printed in 1977 at the Novosibirsk Film Copying Factory. Both films are perfectly preserved, thanks to the climatic conditions of Svalbard.

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The screening of the movie "Georgy Sedov" on a rare film. Photo by Stanislav Schubert
The screening of the movie "Georgy Sedov" on a rare film. Photo by Stanislav Schubert

There will be many more important events in Barentsburg in March. There will be elections at the northernmost polling station, the long-awaited opening of the swimming pool after reconstruction, and the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the village, for which Stanislav Shubert is preparing a photo exhibition and a film screening of the archival chronicle, as well as a presentation of the film. Wait for news from the Arctic!