Land of the Midnight Sun
With stark differences between seasons, Finns are used to contrasts. Dark Arctic winters have their counterpart in one of the most iconic of Finnish natural phenomena, the Midnight Sun.
Many wonder how Finns survive with no sunlight in the winter, and nature replies with 24 hours of it in the summer. The intense contrast in light conditions has a profound effect on all walks of life in Finland.
For understandable reasons, public spaces come to life in the summer. After the harsh winter, endless daylight never arrives a day too early. Summer in Finland is a time spent outside the house enjoying the short but sweet season, and all worries are postponed until nights get dark again.
70 Days without Sunset
Two thirds of all people living in areas graced by the Midnight Sun reside in Finland. In the northernmost parts of Finnish Lapland, the sun stays above the horizon for over 70 consecutive days.
Below the Arctic Circle, the sun pops below the horizon for a few hours at night. This is not to say it gets dark – white nights are a fact throughout the country, and even Helsinki on the southern coast has virtual daylight around the clock.
WHAT DO I DO WITH ALL THE LIGHT?
The quintessential way to take in the Midnight Sun is at a cottage. Finns love their quietness, and visitors should also experience true northern style relaxation by escaping the daily grind to a peaceful retreat . The sound of silence combined with the revitalizing rays of the Midnight Sun is nature’s own remedy for the weary soul.
Some like a different approach. The Midnight Sun extends your day with those extra hours you keep hoping for in your daily life. Make use of it and go hiking, canoeing, fishing or play a round of golf in the wee hours.
The best place to experience the Midnight Sun is Finnish Lapland. The Midnight Sun Film Festival (founded by famous filmmaker brothers Kaurismäki) and folklore festival Jutajaiset – both in June – are great ways to enjoy local culture and the Midnight Sun.
In the South, the best time to enjoy the Midnight Sun is around Summer Solstice – go to a Midsummer Party in Seurasaari, Helsinki, for example – it’s an experience you will never forget!
HOW DO YOU SLEEP?
A good tip is to use curtains and blinds. The Midnight Sun can make going to sleep a bit harder than usual, but then again, why go to sleep at normal hours? There is a time for sleeping and it’s called winter – just ask the bears and other mammals that hibernate through most of it.
We say don’t worry about sleep; make the most of the Midnight Sun!
Full of interesting contrasts, such as the four seasons, the Midnight Sun and winter darkness, urban and rural, East and West.