During the summer in Lapland, nature speeds up. The buds burst forth, blossom and then explode into a million vibrant colors. That’s how you’ll feel too!
And thanks to the magical Midnight Sun, the experience continues 24/7 for about 3 months. This phenomenon is called the Nightless Night. Have you ever seen the sun circling the sky above the horizon night and day?
What is the Nightless Night?
This phenomenon is due to the Earth’s axis being tilted in its orbit around the Sun. It only occurs south of the Antarctic Circle and north of the Arctic Circle. In Lapland, the Midnight Sun lasts longer the closer you get to the North Pole.
At the Arctic Circle, where Lapland’s capital Rovaniemi lies, the Midnight Sun touches the horizon from early June until early July. In Nuorgam, Finland’s northernmost tip, the sun stays up for more than 70 days, in other words: all summer.
50 shades of the Midnight Sun
The phenomena of the Midnight Sun phenomena might still need a bit more clarification. It is not something that appears in the sky only at certain hours. It’s sunlight that lasts the whole night through, and it has at least 50 different shades. That’s what makes it so magical.
There are certain identifiable moments of light: the evening light around 9-10 p.m. gives you the feeling, that your day is just about the begin. The Golden Hour is the time period, when the sun is about to set. Since the sun doesn’t really set, the sun stays up in the horizon and colors everything with it’s burning orange color. And then there is the “sunrise,” when it slowly starts to climb up from the horizon – around 1-4 a.m. This sight of a golden hour is especially beautiful near open waters like lakes or rivers, due to the brilliant reflection from the surface of the water.
In the early morning, there is already so much light, and nature hums with life. It is bizarrely quiet and alive at the same time. If you ever wondered how nature looks at night, now you can see it, because the lights are constantly ON.
What do I do with all the light?
One of the best ways to enjoy Nightless Nights is simply to stay up and enjoy the mystical and surreal atmosphere. Wander around nature, explore your surroundings and see how the plants and animals make the most out of the Arctic summer. If you are into photography, this is definitely something for you!
One of the favorite way for Finns to enjoy this time is staying at a cottage. In the peaceful silence, you can experience true, northern style relaxation. The sound of silence combined with the revitalizing rays of the Midnight Sun is nature’s own remedy for the weary soul.
Others prefer a different approach. The Midnight Sun extends your day and gives you those extra hours you’re always looking for in your daily life. Make use of them and go hiking, canoeing, fishing or play a round of golf in the wee hours.
How do I 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 sleep at normal hours? There is a time for sleeping. It’s called winter – just ask the bears and other mammals that hibernate through it.
Don’t worry about sleep; make the most of the Nightless Night! Do it like the locals and take part on the events like The Silence Festival in Kittilä in the beginning of June, the Midnight Sun Film Festival in Sodankylä in mid-June and Ihajis Idja in Inari ion August.
If culture is not your cup of tea, go for action: there are sporty happenings held everywhere in Lapland, where unique nature and diverse sports and leisure activities are combined. Try the Trail Run happening Nuts Ylläs-Pallas, Levi Outdoor Fest or NUTS Karhunkierros trail ultra in Ruka. For mountain biking lovers, there are many mountain bike contests all around Lapland, and a huge variety of routes in Ylläs, Saariselkä, Pyhä & Luosto, Syöte, Ruka and Salla.