Ah the Swedish winter. Everyone dreads it and I guess you all have read blogs about how cold it is, how dark it is and how tired you feel due to vitamin D deficiency and blah blah.. DRAMA! Why does nobody ever talk about what it is like in Sweden once winter kisses us goodbye?
Because you never know IF winter really IS gone for good, ever. Because it might spontaneously snow in the middle of the day anytime. OK, you got a point there. But, spring is really a thing, too. It might take a long to appear, but when it does, trust me, you want to be ready.
Thanks to Benjamin Franklin, who established Daylight saving time since 1784, we all advance our clocks during summer months by one hour so that evening daylight lasts an hour longer (free history lessons!). That, for Sweden means a lot. Combined with the fact that we also experience longer days in the North anyway, the daytime becomes so stretched, it is crazy!
Now, it is only the beginning of May and the sun rises at 4 am, which means that if you forget to close your blinds at night, you WILL wake up at 5 am involuntarily. Then, the sun sets at 21.30 and there is still light until after 22.30 at night. So, the day is essentially 18/24 hours – and it keeps getting bigger, as we gain a minute of daylight per day until the summer solstice, called “midsommar” at the end of June. That is why we use the term “white nights” for the summer in Sweden, from the Midsummer which is the brightest (and one of the most celebrated, obviously) day of the year! After that, days become shorter by a minute a day again, which balances out at some point.
All this does wonders for your energy levels, that might have been not so elevated during winter time. You suddenly feel the urge to go outside and enjoy nature, camp, have a picnic, a boat ride, a cycling tour or whatever. People are chilling at parks and children are playing all day. Spring-summertime is the time to be in Sweden, for sure!
So, if you are here, grab your friends and enjoy the sunshine and nice weather while it lasts! And if you come next year, know that winter might be hard, but spring totally makes up for it. 🙂 (: Stay positive!
‘Till the next time!
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In the pictures: Achilleas Fardellas, Ronan McCabe, Larsen Vornholz, Guillermo Velenzuela Morales, Alkis Zisiadis and Christina Neofytou (KI students). Taken by Christina Neofytou.