Midnight Sun in Iceland

Iceland is the land of ice and fire, but also the land of the Midnight sun, a breathtaking natural phenomenon that occurs during the summer. During this period, there are no clear boundaries between one day and another. The long and bright nights in Iceland have good effects on the local people and affects their everyday life. Icelanders tend to stay longer outside and enjoy the long nights and even the children play outside long past their bedtime ... and it is ok!

What is the Midnight Sun?

The midnight sun is a natural phenomenon that happens north of the Arctic Circle and south of the Antarctic Circle every summer. In these areas the sun is visible for the entire day, creating a unique colorful light at midnight.

When is the Midnight Sun in Iceland?

In Iceland, the highest peak in the daylight period is called Sumarsólstöður or Summer Solstice and always take place from the 20th of June to the 22nd. Even though the highest point is then, the nights are bright from early May until the end of July.

What about the winter solstice?

During the winter solstice (December 21), the days are much shorter. The sun will rise at 11:21 and set at 15:30. That means that the capital city of Reykjavík, barely gets 4 hours of daylight, while the Westfjords get 2 hours and 45 minutes.

How Iceland Celebrates Summer Solstice?

Icelanders celebrate Jonsmessa or Midsummer Night (St. John‘s Mass) on the 24th of June. The night, named after John the Baptist, is thought to have supernatural powers. To celebrate in the true style of the Old Norse, there is a tradition of rolling naked in the morning dew on the summer solstice. In Iceland this night is thought to be one of the four most magical and powerful nights and it is belived that cows gain speech, magical stones float to the top of ponds, seals become human and elves will try to tempt humans over to their world. It’s also said that rolling around naked in the dew on Jonsmessa has healing qualities.