In Swedish Lapland, nature plays an intrinsic role in our life and work, and the people here are highly sensitive to the small details of the changing seasons. Therefore, it seems only natural that the Sámi people describe eight seasons instead of four.
We live in close proximity to nature in Swedish Lapland, and it’s not unusual for the region to be referred to as Northern Europe’s last remaining wilderness. Yet for those of us who live and work here, the natural landscape is anything but wild. This is our cultural heritage and the place we spend our everyday lives and free time, as so many of us rely on nature to make a living.
While moving their reindeer from winter to summer pastures, the Sámi people are keenly attentive to the variations of the seasons and climate. Although the majority of Sámi people are more or less permanently settled nowadays, they are no less dependent on the seasons and climate for that. This unique expertise is vital in a region where there is a major contrast between summer and winter, for example, with temperatures varying by as much as 70 degrees.
So what are these eight seasons? Well, let me explain. I’ll begin with one of my favourites: spring winter. Truth be told, this is the season most of us in Swedish Lapland hold in the highest esteem.