When the sun sets over the Finnish Lapland municipality of Utsjoki on Monday, it will be the last time for more than two months.
Monday 15 May marks the beginning of the Finnish Far North’s season of ‘nightless nights’.
This means that the residents of Utsjoki, and some other northern Lapland towns, will not see the sun set until the end of July. The next time locals in the far reaches of the Finnish north experience a properly dark night will be on 2 August.
In theory, the period of 24-hour daylight is only supposed to occur in regions above the Arctic Circle.
In practice however, the refraction of light by the earth’s atmosphere scatters the midnight sun to areas as far as Kemi, around 100km further south, and for at least one day per year the sun seemingly does not set in these areas too.
The further north, the longer the ‘nightless night’ lasts. In Finland’s northernmost town of Utsjoki, the nightless night lasts for more than two months.
The Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) forecasts optimal conditions for midnight sun-watchers in the region, with higher temperatures and less rainfall than average predicted for late May and early June.
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: Inuvik to welcome back the sun with annual weekend festival, CBC News