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Russians in Arctic Murmansk Welcome First Sunrise of 2021

Murmansk residents have developed the tradition of greeting the first sunlight of the year by heading to a local mountain. Lev Fedoseyev / TASS

The first sunrise of the year dawned upon residents of Murmansk in Russia's Arctic as the 40-day-long polar night finally came to an end — if only for a brief 45 minutes.

On Jan. 11, residents of Murmansk, the world's largest city above the Arctic Circle, rushed outside to greet the sunrise in what has become an annual tradition.

An early sunset at 1:50 p.m. over an icy dessert.

The sunrise looks even more stunning against the frozen northern landscape.

"Only a person living in the far north can appreciate and admire the first rays of the sun. The polar night ended in Murmansk today!"

The Murmansk region is famous for its natural scenery: tundra, mountains and snowy taiga.

The rose-colored sky over the Murmansk region's steppe greets the end of the polar night. 

Greeting the end of the polar night with traditional wooden sculptures at a farmstead not far from the city. 

After 40 pitch-dark days, Murmansk residents get to start the first work week of the year under the sun. 

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