Russians north of the Arctic Circle have come out of their slumber with the year’s first glimmer of sunlight on Friday.
After just over 30 minutes of daylight, locals were eager to share their excitement with the rest of the world, leading to this collection of images from the past hours.
A natural phenomenon called polar night occurs when regions within the Arctic Circle descend into darkness for more than 24 hours. Russia’s Arctic port of Murmansk sees no sunlight for 40 days between Dec. 2 and Jan. 11.
Local residents traditionally gather at the city’s highest point on the last day of the polar night to witness the first rays of the sun rising above the horizon.
This year was no exception, with social media users and local television stations huddling at “Solnechnaya Gorka” (“Sunny Hill” in Russian) to observe the year’s first sunrise.
It's all uphill from here!