White Nights


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White Nights

 

light nights occurring during the period when sunset approaches sunrise and legal twilight extends all night. The white nights are most marked near the time of the summer solstice in the northern and southern hemispheres of the earth, in localities north of 59.5° N lat. and south of 59.5° S lat. respectively. The duration of the white nights depends on the geographic latitude of the place. For example, the period of white nights extends from June 11 through July 2 in Leningrad, from May 27 through July 17 in Petrozavodsk, and from May 13 through July 30 in Arkhangel’sk. The definition of white nights is arbitrary; light nights, during which the sun drops a little more than 7° below the horizon, can still be considered white. Very light nights also occur in localities outside the boundaries indicated above.

White Nights

June
This celebration marks the time of year in St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad), Russia, when the nights are so short that the sky appears white, or light grey, and twilight lasts only 30 or 40 minutes. The city, with its many buildings painted in pastel shades of lavender, green, pink, and yellow, has a particularly beautiful charm during the white nights. The city is full of various cultural events to celebrate this summer twilight. The Mariinsky Theatre presents a special program of ballets, operas, and symphonic concerts. In addition, there is a chamber music festival and an international jazz festival.
CONTACTS:
St. Petersburg City Administration
Smolny
St. Petersburg, 191060 Russia
eng.gov.spb.ru
Mariinsky Theatre
1, Teatralnaya Sq.
St. Petersburg, 190000 Russia
7-812-326-4141; fax: 7-812-314-1744
www.tickets.mariinsky.ru
SOURCES:
GdWrldFest-1985, p. 182
IntlThFolk-1979, p. 373
(c)

White Nights
The days before, during, and after the full moon, generally the 13th, 14th, and 15th of each month
According to suggestions in Islamic folklore, the days before, during, and after a full moon are likely to be especially blessed or lucky. On these dates, the skies are bathed in the silvery light of the full or nearly full moon, making the nights "white." In the Islamic calendar, months begin on the first day of the new moon and last for 29 or 30 days; therefore, the White Nights generally occur on the 13th, 14th, and 15th of each month.
Many Muslims worldwide consider the White Nights a good time to observe optional fast days. Shia Muslim officials recommend extra prayers on White Nights that fall during the months of Rajab, Shaban, and Ramadan. Some believe that special blessings will come to those who observe this teaching.
CONTACTS:
Islamic Society of North America
6555 S. 750 East
Plainfield, IN 46168
317-839-8157; fax: 317-839-1840
www.isna.net
SOURCES:
UndIslam-2004, pp. 381, 440
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