The fourth theme for the year long nature celebration in Finland is- fall in love with the midnight sun! It's celebrated on July 16th and many events are held around the country to celebrate. Also, Hossa is being celebrated as the national park of Finland for the 100 year independence celebration.
It's located about 200 km or 120 miles from our hometown and has a special role in Finnish history. You can find out more at http://www.nationalparks.fi/en/hossa. The oldest dwellings in the area are dated around 10,000 years ago and it is the background for prehistoric cavepaintings from around 3,500 years ago.
Tar was burned in the area around the end of the 1800's and the first savotta or logging was held in the early 1900's. The most recent logging places are from the 40's and 50's. The reindeer herding has it's roots in as early as 1500's when the Sami people lived in the area.
On the trails in Hossa, you are walking the same trails as the first inhabitants 10,000 years ago. Color cave paintings take you to the to Finnish mystic, shaman world. If you are planning a vacation where your soul can rest and you enjoy nature, head to Finnish nature and the gorgeous national parks.
The Land of the Midnight Sun
Finland is known worldwide as The Land of The Midnight Sun. The sun doesn't set at all for weeks in Lapland. The nights are as sunny as the days. In the most northern part of Finland, Nuorgami, the sun doesn't set between May 16 and July 29. It's magical!
If you are visiting Finnish Lapland in the summer, the only thing blocking your view from the midnight sun may be a few clouds on the sky!
When we visit Finland during the summer, the sun at night is always a wonder and a pain for my American husband. He can never sleep :) People whose bodies are used to having dark nights year round have difficulties with kick starting their melatonin production because the light is almost equally bright during the day as it is in the night. I've found my husband many times outside in the middle of the night feeding the hedgehogs on my parents yard.
This magical time period in the summer let's you have amazing experiences with nature. You can walk in the woods in the middle of the night and observe the life there, enjoy the scent of summer flowers, take a swim in the crystal clear waters of Finnish lakes or jump in after enjoying a midnight sauna.
Many travel agencies offer options to hike at night and enjoy the midnight sun around a campfire. Midsummer is also celebrated with large bonfires and you can see them burning at summer cottages everywhere around lakes.
Finnish superfoods and the midnight sun
This natural phenomenon is also part of the life cycle of plants. Studies and research have shown that the antioxidant levels of wild berries grown in Finland versus even just berries grown just South of us in Denmark is much higher.
Top researcher on the topic, Laura Jaakola, spoke with my sister Nina recently and shared findings about this. So, it really matters where berries are grown, not just because of pollution but also for the vitamin and antioxidant levels and the way the amount of sunlight effects them.
Finnish chaga also grows in these same conditions - its been said that the most potent chaga is grown in 40 below Fahrenheit temperatures which is easily reached during the winter in Lapland. Also, the nightless nights and the amount of sunlight positively effect the growth of the mushroom.
Chaga grown in the North is heavier because the cork-like, "rotted" inside is much smaller. The chaga collected from Finland can have a ORAC value of over 40% higher than chaga collected in other areas such as Russia.
We will share many pictures of Finnish nature and the midnight sun this summer on our social media accounts and highlight its grandeur. Stay tuned!