The sky above Middelburg in the Netherlands on a past ‘Night of the Night’ AMSTERDAM—As winter creeps across the Northern Hemisphere and daylight hours dwindle, it can be hard to appreciate the long, dark nights. But in the Netherlands, there’s a national campaign to embrace the darkness. Nacht van de Nacht (Night of the Night) culminates in an annual event—this year, it was on October 26—during which local governments and companies turn off their lights and people gather in towns and woods to savor the absence of artificial light. Earth Hour, a worldwide event to turn off the lights for one hour in March, is aimed at raising environmental awareness, but the goal of Nacht van de Nacht is to change lighting habits permanently, so that we can see the stars again. This year, around 45,000 people took part in some 550 activities, including night walks in forests, star viewings, and candlelit dinners. The organization also holds workshops year-round and advises the government, municipalities, and companies to dim or turn off lights, and to adopt a policy of “Dark where possible, light where necessary.” “What we’re very happy about is, when a company turns its lights off for the […]


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