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Swedish Flag
We are from ...
Sweden
Day & Night
Location: North-western Europe, bordering Noway, Finland and the Baltic Sea
Capital: Stockholm
Population: 8,850,000
Total Area: 450,000 sq km
People per
sq km:
19.7 per sq km
Language: Swedish
Currency: Swedish Krona (SKr); 1SKr = £0.07p

The Midnight Sun CoastA stretch of coast on the East of Sweden is called The Midnight Sun Coast. This name sounds very dramatic, but it is also very accurate: Sweden really does have sun at midnight!

 

This doesn’t happen all of the time: it depends on which season it is and where you are. Overall though, the climate in Sweden is extreme. The timing of the seasons is similar to Britain: winter begins between November and December and summer arrives sometime in June. During winter the temperatures are much colder than in Britain, as low as –30ºc. If that wasn’t bad enough, the days are extremely short. In fact, in the far north there is no daylight at all from mid-December to mid-January! In the summer, however, the same areas have constant daylight from mid-June to mid-July! So for half of the year it’s nearly always day, and for the other half it’s nearly always night.

Can you imagine living with no daylight, or with no night time? You wouldn’t know when to go to bed and when to get up! So how do the Swedes cope with it?

Stockholm, Sweden's capital cityWell, in the main cities in the south of the country, their lives are very similar to people in British cities. People travel by car, bus and train, work in offices, go to school, have friends to visit and so on. The further north you go, however, the more unusual things get.

In the winter months when the days are short and dark and the temperature is cold, people tend to stay in their houses as much as possible. This isn’t just because they don’t like the cold: without the sun to warm things up, the temperature is so low that just being outside is really horrible! When people do go out, traditional activities like fishing become much harder. All the water – ponds, lakes and even rivers – freezes. This means Swedes go ice fishing: they walk out onto the ice, make a hole and fish through it!

A winter picnic!Life in the summer months can also be a bit strange in the north of Sweden. Because it is light nearly all the time, sleeping can be difficult. People have to have very thick curtains in their houses to keep the sun out! However, having long days suits the Swedes’ love of outdoor activities, and they make up for spending the winter months indoors by spending as much time as possible outside. They love sports like football and tennis, but also play a lot of cold weather sports like ice hockey. Cross-country skiing and hiking are also very popular – the Swedes like to get out and admire their beautiful country! There is a golf course that is so far north that it can only be used for one week of the year – the rest of the time it’s covered in snow and ice!

If you’ve been on holiday recently, you may have noticed that there were a lot of Swedes there too. This is because they like to avoid the cold, dark winters completely by going away. The Swedes are great tourists, travelling all over Europe and the rest of the world. They even travel a lot in their own country. In the winter, people from the north head south to enjoy the warmer weather and to see the sun once in a while. In summer the north is popular because the days are long and sunny, but there is snow on the ground. This means you can go skiing, but still feel warm and get a sun tan!

So Sweden is a place of extremes - extreme cold and extremely long, and short, days. Unlike us, however, they don’t moan about the weather. The Swedes simply find things to do whatever the weather!

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