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.
Photo: Visit Finland
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.
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.
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!