Why Is Norway Called the Land of the Midnight Sun?

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Norway is called the Land of the Midnight Sun because the sun never dips entirely below the horizon between late May and late July. During the summer months, areas located north of the Arctic Circle experience nearly perpetual daylight; these areas may see up to 20 hours of sunlight during the time of the midnight sun, but experience long periods of darkness during the winter.

The midnight sun is a natural phenomenon. It reaches its peak during the summer solstice, which occurs around June 21 each year. On the day of the solstice, areas in Norway and in other regions around the world north of the Arctic Circle may receive almost 24 hours of sunlight. The sun in these areas continues to shine through the midnight hour, which is how the term “midnight sun” arose. The intensity and visibility of the sun during this time varies depending on several factors, such as the presence of surrounding fog or clouds and proximity to the poles. The closer to the North and South poles people travel, the days become longer and the rays of the sun are more intense. While Norway enjoys long periods of sunlight during the summer, its northernmost land areas north of the Arctic Circle are cast in darkness during the period of the polar night, which occurs during the winter months. During this time the sun never rises completely above the horizon.