Since times immemorial, people have given natural phenomena they do not understand supernatural origins. While the explanations for wind, rain and thunder can be found around the world, the Aurora Borealis are limited to the polar regions, and as both phenomena, and lore of origin are fairly unknown to the most of the world. The newest development at the Saariselkä resort is called the Aurora Experience, and designed by the White Night Lighting, it brings forward both the age-old supernatural view of the world, as well as the unique experience of the Aurora Borealis in the middle of the polar night. In Finnish folklore “Tulikettu” was a mythical ember-tailed fox with a fur that gave out a gloomy cold light that would bring prosperity to those that were able to catch the creature. It was consequently believed that the Aurora Borealis were the result of the light and the sparks emanating from the glowing fur of the supernatural fox as it was avoiding the hunters seeking to catch it and claim its hide.
The Aurora Experience consist of a toboggan run that lets the participants live both the thrill of following the Tulikettu and being inside an Aurora Borealis as well as to connect with the the age-old legends of the polar night. The course starts next to the sky itself, way above the treeline at the very top of the Kaunispää fell. From this barren landscape, the participants speed their way down an illuminated track through the arctic scenery littered with projected imagery of the Finnish lores and tales. Having made their way halfway down the fell, they arrive to the plaza where “Pohjannaula” the proverbial centerpin of the known world around which everything revolved, stands. After this pivotal point, the tone of the course changes, and natural beauty illuminated evergreens lines the rest of the way down to the valley at a leisurely pace, with the projections and lighting mimicking the dance of the Aurora Borealis. Aurora Experience was awarded in Finland as a Outdoor Lighting project of the year 2019 and internationally in DARC Awards 2019 in category Spaces High Budget and also as the project having the most votes of all the categories in the competition.