The Seasons of Lapland

As nature moves slowly into spring, we wanted to share a little bit about the seasons here. Lapland is known for many things, such as northern lights, skiing, and magical forests filled with snow. But little do many know, that Lapland also has 8 seasons. In most places, there are typically 4 seasons – winter, spring, summer, and autumn. However, Lapland is unique in this regard. The indigenous population of Northern Europe, the Sami peoples, have lived according to the cycles of nature in the region for thousands of years, which is how these 8 seasons have come to be known in Lapland. Nature is changing constantly – the temperature changes, the amount of daylight changes, and much more – and this is why four seasons was just not enough for this particular region.

The seasons in Lapland are divided as follows.

Spring-winter: Crusty Snow

Generally, March and April are considered spring-winter months. Spring is slowly arriving, as the days begin to get lighter. Bright, sunshiny days are at their best during this time. The first migratory birds, whooper swans and snow buntings, start arriving north again. You’ll find spring winter to be one of the best times to head out on the snow, as the snow starts to form a crust making it possible to enjoy outdoor activities without ‘submerging’ into the snow.

Spring: Nature’s awakening

May is generally considered spring. There is still usually a good amount of snow on the ground, making it an incredible time of year to get out on the skis and enjoy warmer days on the trails and up on the fells. Depending on the year however, snow can also start to melt during this time, and the smell of nature waking up fills the air.

Spring-summer: Departure of ice

Summer is almost upon us, as the snow melts and ice breaks apart on the rivers and lakes. Days and nights are full of light, as the Summer Solstice approaches. Nature awakes, and plants and flowers begin to bloom. There is, however, a chance of ‘back-winter’, which sometimes brings extra snow and colder days. This is generally considered the end of May into June.

Summer: Midnight sun

Sunshine is full-on during this time of year. Light and time are of no shortage, so make sure to take advantage of this magical time in the North. There is sunlight for over two full months of the year! Imagine climbing up to the top of a fell at midnight and absorbing in the sunshine – this is absolutely possible. This time is usually from June until the end of July.

Autumn-summer: Harvest

This is primetime for berry picking. Fill up your baskets with blueberries, crowberries, mushrooms, and more, as you watch the days grow darker and nights grow longer. Enjoy Finland’s ‘Everyman’s rights’, which allow you to pick wild berries, mushrooms, and flowers freely, as long as they aren’t protected species, while also of course respecting nature, people, and property.

Autumn: Ruska

As autumn arrives, the air gets cooler and nights grow longer. The color spectrum of the foliage during autumn is something truly magical, offering the outdoor enthusiast a perfect time to enjoy nature to the fullest. Fewer mosquitos, incredible colors, and enjoyable temperatures are a major plus!

Autumn-winter: First snow

The first snow generally arrives during October, while the ski-season usually begins around November. Lakes begin to freeze over, and nature begins to settle into its slumber as the days get shorter and chillier. Frosty mornings are a sight to see, and you might even be lucky enough to catch some northern lights during nighttime.

Winter: Solstice

Polar night is upon us during this time. Nature around us has settled into its slumber, and it calls us to join in the rest and relaxation. There is a limited amount of daylight, the moon shines brightly, and you might even be lucky enough to see some dancing Aurora Borealis above you. Just remember, that temperatures might reach up to -30C, so dressing warm is a must during this time. This period of time is usually considered to be between December and February.

As Easter approaches, we also wanted to share a little bit more about the various activities and traditions enjoyed during this time. In Lapland, spring-winter is in full swing, and this is usually a perfect time to enjoy the outdoors. From ice-fishing, to walks in nature and on the frozen lakes, to cozying up by the fire place with some chocolate and a warm beverage, springwinter is surely something you don’t want to miss. We also recommend taking the whole family out on a nature hike up to Kumputunturi Fell, where you can enjoy the sights and snacks, and take in the sunshine in good company.

Around Easter, be sure to also try some mämmi, a Finnish Easter delicacy that will surely divide opinions. This delicacy is made of rye flour and malted rye, with a muddy, sludge-like consistency. Enjoy it with cream and sugar, like most people here in Finland do. And if you’re really in the mood, get some Easter eggs and paint them with fun spring colors!

Living in sync with nature is a big part of how we operate at Lapland Lodge. We know that as the seasons change, so too does nature around us. And as nature changes, our activities and how we interact with nature changes throughout the year. We believe that working in tune with the cycles of nature is one of the best ways to honor and respect Earth’s natural resources and continue moving towards a more sustainable future. As lakes freeze over, we recognize that methods of fishing must change. As the snow arrives, we recognize that methods of exploring forests and fells will change. As the harvest season arrives, we find ways to utilize nature’s bounty through using local ingredients in our catering services.

Finding ways to live in sync with nature can be challenging in this modern age, with all the technology, gadgets, and social media filling our days. For this reason, we want to offer our guests a unique experience to get in touch with nature, even if it’s just for a few days. When we get in tune with nature, we get in tune with ourselves and all the other living beings around us.

Photo credit:

Bird photo:
Pussywillow photo: