Winter fun

You’ve probably heard about this and there’s a good reason – it’s pure magic!

You’ve probably heard about our winter and there’s a good reason – it’s pure magic! Our winter is long. Really long. For up to 51 days the sun does not rise above the horizon. But that doesn’t mean it’s pitch dark. There is plenty of white, luminous snow, glimmering starry skies and a spectacular phenomenon called the Northern Lights. Do you dare to enter the twilight zone?

The Northern Lights are a near-supernatural experience – but how do they come about?

Sami legend says the Fox runs across the Arctic fells and lights up the sky with sparks flying from its tail whirling up the snow. The modern Finnish term “revontulet”, the fox’s fires, comes from this myth.

A scientist’s explanation of the phenomenon would be something like “the solar wind sends charged particles towards the Earth, and upon colliding with its atmosphere they produce energy given off as light.”

How and when can I spot them?

The Northern Lights appear about 200 nights a year in Finnish Lapland. The further north you go, the greater the chances of spotting them. Seeing the Northern Lights requires darkness and clear skies, so late autumn, winter and early spring are the best times. The best time is an hour or two before and after midnight. The display might last 20 seconds or go on for hours.

Even with today’s technical equipment, the Lights’ appearance can never be forecast with certainty. They are a phenomenon that cannot be packaged and sold, which makes each time special. They appear for you; right then, right there. The Sun and the Earth conduct the show, and each performance is unique. The Fox moves in mysterious ways.

Aurora Now! is a service that helps you watch the Northern Lights in Finland. It provides magnetic field alarms and an aurora monitor. You’ll find it here ›

Explore the intriguing regions of Lapland – The North of Finland and
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Read more about our winter in these Visit Finland articles