Today, on January 17th, the Polar night or Kaamos is over in Finland for this time. In the northernmost village of Finland, in Nuorgam, the sun rose above the horizon today for about one minute at 12.04, local time. The temperature in Nuorgam is at the moment -33 C; you could say the sun is not yet warming up at all….
In Rovaniemi we have -23 C and I just returned from a nice, refreshing walk in the snowy environment with a clear sky full of stars above our heads. No sights of northern lights, though.
At the same time Finland is planning for the next tourist season, spring and summer 2014. The travel fair Matka 2014 in Fair Center in Helsinki on 17-19.1.2014, is the biggest travel fair in Northern Europe. In the domestic part of the fair the local places to visit are represented, but there is also a part of the fair for foreign targets. With exhibitors from over 80 countries there is a lot to see! You can also vote for the best excursion place of 2014. You can of course choose between several places in Lapland, too. To vote, go to the site: www.goexpo.fi.
VisitRovaniemi, the tourist board of Rovaniemi, takes of course part in the fair as usual. You could visit the stand number 7K51 and learn about the new plans for the coming seasons. SantaPark and Joulukka are of course also represented there and they also want to present their new spa and sauna facilities, Metsäkyly, where you can get experiences from original Finnish sauna, get treatments, jump into an ice-cold lake and learn all about sauna traditions in Finland. Check out the homepage to learn more.
The polar night is a phenomenon above the Arctic circle that means the sun does not rise above the horizon for an amount of time depending on how near the north pole the place is. In Rovaniemi the polar night, or kaamos as the Finns call it, really do not exist because the sun rises around Christmas time for a couple of hours during the day time. But still people use to call the time around Christmas and New Year the kaamos time. As my friends heard I will stay in Lapland during winter time they asked me how I would cope with the kaamos. After I experienced my first kaamos winter I really have to say, it was no problem at all. On the opposite, I found the kaamos quite exciting with the blue shine all day long, only with an exception of a couple of hours of light yellow sun shine in the middle of the day. You get the feeling of real arctic moments then. It is an relaxing feeling as you are surrounded of this blue atmosphere. It the weather is really cold, as it usually is at that time of the year, the blue light turns out to be even somewhat deeper.
The changes from summer lights to winter kaamos and on the other hand from kaamos to light again happen faster up in the north of Finland than in the south. The fact is that on March 20th and September 22th day and night are the same length in both south and north of Finland. Still in Lapland there are these periods of kaamos and the Midnight sun in the summer, when the sun does not set in the night at all for a period of time. The length of the time of the Midnight sun is depending on how near the north pole the place is; just the same as the fact about polar nights. In Rovaniemi region the Midnight sun period lasts from June 6th to July 6th.
These two pictures are from the polar night.
This picture on the other hand is taken around midnight during the period of Midnight sun in Rovaniemi. It is amazing when you can stay outdoor all night and you have no problem to see in front of you because the sun is shining all the time. It is a well known fact that the Lapish people take advantage of these light summer nights and they do not sleep very many hours per night. During the winter and kaamos time they on the other hand sleep more hours.