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May 28, 2021

Midsummer Night Celebrations in Kirunavaara, Sweden, Where the Sun Doesn’t Set During Summer, 1901

In Kiruna, the sun doesn’t set for 47 days during the summer. This phenomenon, known as midnight sun, is at it’s hight around midsummer, which is always celebrated near the summer solstice.

Kirunavaara is the name of the mountain that the crowd is standing on. Kirunavaara means “mountain of the ptarmigans” in the Sámi language and gave it’s name to the nearby mining town Kiruna. The mountain has changed shape radically over the years due to extensive mining.

Kiruna in Swedish Lapland is a world full of contrasts, colors and light. The period where we have midnight sun is the counterpart to the polar night that we experience in December. The period from late May to the middle of July is an intense period and it has a deep effect on all life when the daylight never ends.

When can I see the midnight sun?

The midnight sun glows in the sky from the 27th of May until the 14th of July. During this period, it never slides below the horizon. The sun is at its lowest at the time 00:40. So the sun is up continuously for 47 days at Kiruna’s latitude. The periods prior to and following that of the midnight sun are also very bright. This is why they usually talk about having 100 days without night.

The midnight sun is the same sun seen during daytime, it just doesn’t go below the horizon. This means that you don’t see a rapid sunset and sunrise. This phenomenon can be experienced anywhere in Kiruna.


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