The Land of Midnight Sun
Midnight sun in Greenland is practically a state of mind, and the traditional concept of time loses all meaning. You may as well leave your watch in your suitcase, because the day has neither a beginning nor an end. Children on roller skates run down the street in the middle of the night with the sun hanging low in the horizon. Small motorboats chug out of the harbour and groups of people sit dotted around the hills enjoying the never-ending rays of sunshine. During the summer the small communities buzz with life until the early hours.
Where to see the midnight sun
So where and when to see the midnigh sun. Midnight sun can be experienced north of the Arctic Circle for a period lasting from a single day to five months depending on how far north you travel. In central Greenland the sun does not set from the end of May until the end of July. During this period, the soft, warm rays from the low-lying sun make the surrounding scenery appear almost dreamlike; icebergs and hilltops are bathed in a surrealistic palette of pink, purple, yellow and red hues.
The sun's rays on top of the world
The unusual phenomenon is due to the tilt of the Earth's axis in relation to its orbit round the sun. North of the Arctic Circle it means that the sun can be seen around the clock during the summer months. In contrast, the dark polar nights are characteristic of the region during the winter. In the southerly regions of Greenland that do not lie within the Arctic Circle there is no midnight sun, although the nights certainly do remain light during the summer months.
Summer sunshine and winter darkness
The number of days of continuous summer sunshine and winter darkness depend on the latitude of the places you visit. The most northerly town, Qaanaaq, has both the highest number of days with midnight sun and the most winter darkness - however, reflections of moonlight in the snow and the glow from the Northern Lights help to light up the landscape during this period.
Read more about the midnight sun here.