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The natural phenomenon of the midnight sun in Finnish Lapland

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Finnish Lapland is the land of seasonal contrasts: long, dark winters and bright, warm summers. The phenomenon of the midnight sun and the white nights of summer compensate the Finns for the long darkness. As soon as summer has rung in, the time has come to go out into nature, out of town, up north – to enjoy the summer and see the midnight sun.

Natural phenomenon midnight sun

The midnight sun is a natural phenomenon that occurs north and south of the respective polar circles. Due to the inclination of the earth's axis, the sun does not set at the poles in summer. In Lapland, above the Arctic Circle, the sun does not set at all during the midsummer – the colours of dawn and dusk mix and it is difficult to tell what time it is.

As in summer it is always bright in the northern areas of Finland. Even in Helsinki the nights in summer are white, but the real midnight sun can only be experienced in Lapland. Together with the northern lights, the midnight sun is the natural event par excellence in Finland.

Myth around the midnight sun

Of course there are some stories entwined around the not-setting sun and one inevitably wonders what our ancestors thought of the phenomenon, who could not explain it with the inclination of the earth's axis. A myth says that a girl should pick seven flowers at midsummer and put them under her pillow. At night she will dream of her future fiancé.

Summer begins: midsummer festival and bonfires

The midsummer festival at the end of June is the ideal time to experience the midnight sun. The bonfires and celebrations on this special evening herald the summer holiday of the Finns, who now say goodbye to nature and leave the cities. The fires are called "Kokko". In former times spells were recited for a good harvest and against evil spirits. Today you celebrate the festival with friends or family and stay awake until late at night.

Off to the north: Rovaniemi, capital of Lapland

In Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland, the midnight sun can be experienced particularly well.

If you want to see "Santa" in the flesh, you can meet him in the Santa village of Rovaniemi and even ...
by Lena Wiesler,   Outdooractive Editors

Not only does Santa Claus live here, but you can also cross the specially marked Arctic Circle in his village and enter the land of endless summer. During the whole summer the nights here are white and only clouds can spoil the experience. But the time of the midnight sun lasts a whole month, so that everyone should enjoy the special sight.

Out into nature

Summer is the time of nature, everything grows and thrives and even people venture into the wilderness. All the better when even the nights are as bright as day. How about a nocturnal hike in the sunshine, a ride towards the sunset where the sun doesn't set or a canoe trip on the naturally illuminated lakes and rivers of Lapland.

The Finns spend their summer days mostly in a holiday house in the nature, at a lake and of course with their own sauna. And they will already know how to make the most of this special event. After all, you can sleep in winter!

Responsible for this content
Outdooractive Editors User
Wiebke Hillen 
Updated: June 12, 2019

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