Finns love the summer months! They certainly look forward to the warmth and sun. We understand. We are also ready for more sun and warmer temperatures. Several Finns have told us they will not travel in the summer because it is the best time to be in Finland. We look forward not only to summer but also to celebrate Midsummer. Midsummer is a big celebration in Finland and signals the start of “the real summer.” It is a celebration of light, summer and a “night less” night. This year Midsummer falls on June 23.
Northern Finland lies in the “Land off the Midnight Sun” and so has continuous daylight during part of the summer. The number of days of continuous daylight increases as one goes farther north. In northernmost Finland, the sun stays above the horizon for about 2 1/2 months. Southern Finland never has continuous daylight, though it averages 19 hours of daylight a day in midsummer.
In winter it’s the opposite – periods of continuous darkness. In the northernmost areas of the country, above the Arctic Circle, the sun never rises above the horizon for about two months. Southern Finland has some daylight during this time, though it receives only about six hours of daylight a day in midwinter. The winter night sky, especially in the northern areas of Finland, often becomes enriched with brilliant displays of the aurora borealis or northern lights.
Below we have to some charts and graphs of the sunrises, sunsets, dawns and dusks of various places. It is really cool to compare Ecuador, which is near the equator and to Espoo, Kiruna (Sweden) and Fairbanks (Alaska), places that contain the Arctic Circle. Then consider Alpharetta (Georgia) and how much sun light it gets in comparison. As you can see in the charts and graphs it varies. We have been gaining 5 minutes a day of sunlight so there is more sunlight here today than back in Georgia.