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The longest night in the world lasts whole days and is celebrated in Ushuaia every winter solstice. That day is June 21, when the calendar marks, in the southern hemisphere, the longest night of the whole year and therefore the shortest day. In Tierra del Fuego , that day offers only about seven hours of sunshine between approximately 9:30 or ten o'clock in the morning and five o'clock in the afternoon.
The winter solstice occurs because it is at that time that the inclination of the earth reaches its peak. It is a natural phenomenon of the stars that has been of utmost importance for different cultures and native peoples . It allowed to identify times of planting and harvesting or the displacement of fauna, which contributed to the planning of agriculture and hunting.
The Longest Night has been celebrated in Ushuaia since the 70s. In those times, a handful of neighbors gathered around the frozen bay . But, since 1986, the holiday has been national . Each year, the cultural agenda presents different activities involving residents of the city, but also thousands of tourists .
Artists from all over the country join the festivities, as well as local restaurants, pubs and museums. The activities also take place in sports centres, retirement centres and cultural centres. Low temperatures are not a barrier for neighbors and tourists who are going to celebrate .
There is music of all styles : folklore , tango , rock , and jazzy among others. There are also cultural activities, pictorial and gastronomic shows from the region, ice and snow sculptures, and ice skating! Since 2012 the election of a queen of the event was also incorporated. Ushuaia offers a unique experience to live this date like you never did.
An important tradition is the March with Torches or March of Lights : a walk around Encerrada Bay that culminates with a fireworks show on the Beagle , contrasting with the ice of the landscape.
Another of the most special rituals is known as The Burning of Obstacles and Impediments. It consists in writing on a paper the obstacles that have prevented the achievement of each one's objectives. This role is thrown by each participant in a large campfire during June 21. At that time all the negative , every problem and every difficulty that does not allow to move forward, is left behind. How could we use something like that this 2020?
It is a huge tourist event , which fills Ushuaia hotels with people from other parts of the country and around the world. The occasion is also used for sightseeing and visiting the wonders of the surrounding area, such as Lake Escondido, Tierra del Fuego National Park or City Tour.
It was not surprising when, from the Ministry of Culture of the Municipality of Ushuaia, it was announced that the national holiday would be suspended, given the context of a pandemic that is going through us. It was said that they were considering organising the festival in a virtual way: if it is done, we will be telling them.
For the moment, let's spend our time planning... Who is going to sign up for 2021? I do, definitely!
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Publication Date: 21/06/2020
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