Common myths about Lapland
There are several common myths about Lapland, that are often heard all around Finland and from all kinds of world travelers. Lets add some perspective straight from the land of the myths. It's myths versus reality.
"The summer of Lapland is short and has a little snow."
We do have the same summer moths as the other parts of our country, that are warmer than others, but the winter lasts basically until summer and the snow often comes during fall. To sum up, there is just not that much time for the plants to flourish. Also, every summer I have spent here, there has been snow spots on the fells in June and July. It is common to have a snow pellet rain in the beginning of summer. People will say "The winter is back!".
"It's so dark, you wont even see the light."
This expression is of course, a joke. You can definitely see the light from a lamp, candle or nature in any kind of darkness. The reason behind this must be the fact, that the sun won't rise at all during polar night, so there is a particularly dark period. Still, the day time is always slightly brighter. I would say, the fall nights are the only time you won't be able to see your own feet without a lamp. In the end there are other kind of lights on the dark sky and they are magical.
"The land of mosquitos"
Yes, there are certainly mosquitos and a lot of them, but not in the beginning or in the end of the summer. When the bugs appear, it is a mayhem. They bully people and the animals, but even at the worst peak, you can have a good time outdoors with covering outfits and repellent. It's a myth that seems to be true, that the bites are worse in the beginning of the summer.
"The baptism of Lapland"
You can definitely have the baptism of Lapland. It is actually a ritual performed by a shaman, but in my group of people, it is basically just a dare to go into the cold water. One might say it is the "baptism" to let the mosquitos attack you and just bare the pain. Dares like this are typical for Finnish people .
"The way to Lapland"
People often ask, how can they get here. Lapland is nothing unreachable, even sometimes people get the idea of our distant location. You can easily get here by road and there are a few airports in Lapland too.
"Are there any bears?" is a common question from a traveler. Sure, there are bears in the wilderness, hard to spot though. Bears have a way of avoiding people and it is very rare to spot the king of the forest. The amazing beast can sense our presence from a great distance and will be long gone before we enter the spot. It is also a wondered subject if there are any polar bears here. No. Just no. Svalbard (Norway) will have better supply.
"Where is the border of Lapland?"
Sure, yo can see it from the map, but people often disagree to where the real Lapland begins. It is a large district. There is the arctic circle at Rovaniemi level, but the geographical border is a lot more to the South. In Northern Lapland, Rovaniemi is considered South, which is funny since it is located in Lapland. The city is considered to be the capital of Lapland. Still many of us feel that the real Lapland starts from where the fell district begins or where there tree species change into more arctic.
"The freezing weather"
There are some seriously low degrees and you certainly need good equipment especially while moving on the highlands. Still, there are places in Finland that feel double as cold with lower degrees. The wind and air are for some reason easy on us in the northernmost Finland. You can enjoy activities in -35 degrees with good equipment for sure.
"Where and when can you see the northern lights?"
I just have to say, it's not about time or place. Maybe avoid streetlights and such to get the best sight. Northern Lights can appear when the sky is dark and clear. Surely night time will be the best, considering the lighting.
"What is the best time to see the fall colors?"
The nature does not go by the clock and the changes don't happen all at once. Anyways, usually the colors are greatest around mid-September. The season is really short and it can change, but definitely worth seeing.
After all, I LOVE that there are myths, whether or not they are accurate.