Today is the official beginning of the white nights that are in Danish (and most likely in the whole of Scandinavia) called "Light Nights".
This to me is the beginning of the absolutely best time of the year, which will last until August the 8th, when the white nights end. Although the duration is only a few months, these are the wonderful summer months of the North.
Denmark, with its position in southern most Scandinavia doesn't get the full benefits of the white nights; although to be honest, the intensity in which they manifest themselves here is more than sufficient to me. Starting today, by which time we have gained about eight hours and thirty minutes since the winter solstice, we are approaching the summer solstice in June, with a difference of a total of almost eleven hours of sun. This means pretty much another day full of light. When the weather is clear, sunsets can be watched late and night. Once the sun has set, leaving the sky blood red for hours (as seen on the pictures here, taken in June 2005, around 11pm), if one looks to the east, the sky is already turning rosy red at an imminent sun rise. I am thoroughly fascinated by this northern phenomenon, when the nights are truly "light". All we get is a dark twilight at the best, lasting in the hours close after midnight to about 3am, when the sun rises again. The birds start singing about half an hour before and therefore my biggest problem in the summers is to make sure I fall asleep before 2am, or I am doomed not to sleep at all.
I have once spent some time in Finland in the middle of June, with some good friends of my parents when I was in my early twenties. We were at their summerhouse on an island outside Helsinki. I will never forget how significant the white nights were there. Or rather, the nights did not exist. At about 1am it became dusk, but instead of turning into night, it turned into sunrise. I did not sleep at all for 10 days and suffered from terrible insomnia.
Nevertheless, I love the immense difference the North offers between the winter and summer - the “light nights" to me are a blessing, not curse. They are a fantastic and unique reward for enduring the never-ending, dark Scandinavian winter.