Sweden: The midnight sun which has countless benefits Travel

 Sweden: The midnight sun which has countless benefits Travel

Lapland is the region where the borders of Sweden Norway Finland & Russia meet

What if there was never darkness if the sun never set?

In some parts of Northern Europe people do not have to imagine what it like to have 24 hours of sunshine because it a reality in their area.

And it also happens that there is darkness for 24 hours. During these days sun is not visible above the horizon.

Sweden: The midnight sun which has countless benefits Travel

For agriculture dependent Sweden in the past this meant that most work was done in the summer.

Sweden used to be a very poor country but now it has a GDP per capita of $60,000 about Rs. 1.29 million & is considered 1 of the high income countries by  World Bank.

But natural light still plays an important role in northern Sweden economy from tourism to energy & from hoteling to the traditional lives of its native inhabitants.

Scott Miller an expert on Scandinavian history at the University of Wisconsin Madison told the British news Elizabeth Hutson that Light is very important in Scandinavian & Swedish culture. It is related to its opposite winter.

If you are in northern Sweden there a time when there no light in the winter he says. In summer there is a lot of light which is great. These days are most useful when everything is growing & your cattle can graze.

Polar bears are an important part of the economy here & are most prolific in summer

Mellor says that until two centuries ago Swedish agriculturalists had to do most of their work during the daylight hours otherwise they would not have enough resources to survive in the winter.

Then kerosene lamps boomed in the mid 19th century & then electric light bulbs just a few decades later & then Sweden's economy changed.

Thus people started working and reading even in the dark which increased the literacy rate. This modern economy developed very rapidly & Sweden became one of the richest countries in world.

Natural light

But the summer sun is still an important part of many sectors of economy. Jakaterina Smirnova an analyst at research firm Euromonitor says that Sweden hotel industry was growing steadily before the pandemic.

In 2019 consumers in Sweden spent 137 billion Swedish krona $13 billion on food services including restaurants cafes & bars & the country annual growth rate was more than four percent in the 10 years before the global pandemic of the coronavirus. Stayed.

Euromonitor estimates that Sweden will continue to grow at a rate of 4 percent for the next several years.

In the Swedish summer sun lasts long enough for people to enjoy their outdoor activities even after day off from work

Every hour of daylight is important for bars & restaurants in the summer especially if your business depends on people enjoying the outdoors.

Rami Awad who runs a popular restaurant and bar in Stockholm says From the beginning of October to the end of March we have brutal winters & it's dark so people like to stay indoors most of the time. In early April people go out & enjoy the light and the sun.

They say people spend more money in the summer because they spend more time away from home.

He says that he keeps the restaurant open seven days a week. "It makes a huge economic difference."

In Stockholm the sun sets for a few hours in the summer but in Swedish Lapland in  north it never goes below the horizon.

The further north you go the longer the winters are says Magnus Henriksen professor of industrial economics at the Research Institute of Stockholm. This means that not only are they dependent on the summer months for agriculture but also for recreation.

In the north snow can fall till mid May & the peak of summer is only two weeks after that he says. Therefore during this period hotels bars and other such businesses try to earn enough money to survive the rest of the year.

Tourism in the North Sweden

Northern Sweden has a very strong summer tourism infrastructure. Located 200 km north of the Arctic Circle in Lapland Ibisko is today a popular place to watch midnight sun.

It has-been a favorite destination for nature lovers for more than a century.

Mountain tourism and industrial development go hand in hand in Sweden says Jessica Mulkewitz a local tourist station official. Due to coal the railway reached here in the late 18th century and in the early 19th century it became possible for nature seekers to come to Abisko.

When the light comes back everything looks so beautiful. The trees & the environment become green & you feel that life has returned.

Since its inception, tourism has remained an important part of Sweden's economy.

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation & Development OECD Sweden tourism sector grew by six percent in 2018 & was valued at $30 billion.

After the break caused by the global epidemic people are now turning to Sweden for tourism again.

We are on a seven week trip to the Baltic region said American tourist Lara Arendt who was staying at a luxury resort. We started in Denmark & went all the way to Poland. We wanted to go to the Arctic Circle because we've never been that far north. We also wanted to experience the midnight sun because obviously it can't be seen in the US.

Lapland features rugged mountains and lakes

It's weird she says. We hiked last night to see the midnight sun and at 12:30 we reached the top of the mountain it was daylight & it looked so strange. It is very unusual that you look at weather report at 2 o'clock in the morning and it says that the sun is out.

Arendt is one of several wealthy tourists who have not taken a trip in 2 years so they're willing to spend a little more on vacation.

Effects on Livestock Husbandry Sweden

But light does not only have an effect on tourism economy in northern Sweden it is also important for some very traditional economic activities especially when it comes to livestock.

Nils Natti a reindeer herder in a local village says the midnight sun also gives the animals energy & their pastures are green again.

Pointing to one of his twelve horns he says His horns are growing by a centimeter every day.

The midnight sun shining on the arctic heat

When it's hot here, there very little snow and no bugs. At night they have to come down to the valley for food.

In their village 70 families raise about 20,000 reindeer & bring them back to their enclosures together.

It's just like daylight and we can use that light to work & even bring the twelve lions back into the enclosures.

But why are reindeer so important to Sweden economy?

They say that because our culture our way of life comes first to us. We have learned to get everything from nature to survive today our main income comes from selling meat.

Local people earn money by selling reindeer meat

Journey to clean energy

From ancient traditions to modern technology light is driving this economy into the future.

Sweden plans to get all of its energy from renewable sources by 2040 & while hydro wind will make up the largest share solar energy is also very important.

This year about 2 gigawatts of electricity can be obtained from the sun which is equal to two nuclear reactors. This amount is 2000% more than the electricity generated in 2015.

One business that is booming is snow hotels. They have two types of hotels 1 is permanent & the other is built from scratch every winter.

Large amounts of snow are stored throughout the year to ensure a supply of snow for the annual construction work & the midnight sun is an important part of this entire phase.

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Ice Hotel 365 is open all year round & uses solar energy to keep it cool

When the river freezes the ice is a meter deep says Sara Home quist manager of the Ice Hotel. We have a tractor with a saw that cuts 2 ton blocks of ice. Then another tractor picks them up & takes them to a cold warehouse.

The internal temperature of this warehouse is kept at minus 5 degrees Celsius & this electricity is also obtained from the sun.

We have the sun shining continuously for the next 50 days which generates enough electricity to keep the warehouse cool.

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