Where is the Land of the Midnight Sun?

The northern part of Norway, along with the northern regions of Sweden, Finland, Canada, and other Arctic lands, is often called the “Land of the Midnight Sun.” It’s hard to imagine the sun shining at midnight, isn’t it? But there are indeed places where the sun doesn’t set for 2.5 months at a time!

The earth is tilted on its axis in such a way that the regions close to the North Pole and South Pole don’t always revolve from day into night and back into day. For part of the year, the Arctic region is tilted away from the sun, and remains in darkness. In the summer, the region is tilted toward the sun, and remains light all day long.

At the most northerly point in Norway, part of the sun is above the horizon continually from May 13 until July 31. That means you can see the sun even at midnight! Farther to the south, the sun might not remain above the horizon all day. But the twilight period is so long there that it never gets dark, even at midnight, for part of the summer.

But in this region, the winter nights are as long as the summer days. In northern Norway, the sun rises above the horizon on only about 60 days of winter, and there’s twilight at noon. Even in the southern part of Norway, a night at midwinter is up 17.5 hours long! So we might just as easily call this region the “Land of the Noonday Night”!