Greenland's Christmas traditions are unique, right down to the fact that Christmas trees have to be imported because it's too cold in Greenland for them! Let's find out more about Christmas traditions in Greenland...
A typical, traditional Greenlandic Christmas begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas (the first day of Advent). In Greenland, this an important day celebrated in churches and homes. Local men may wear the white anorak typical for festive dates, others may be in the traditional Greenlandic costume (photo).
In the weeks leading up to Christmas in Greenland, colorful decorations are put up and illuminated Christmas stars are hung in many windows.
Every village in Greenland puts up a lit Christmas tree on a hill, so everyone can see it - and whoever can afford to have a tree sent from Denmark, decorates it at home on December 23. Typical tree decorations include candles, ornaments and handcrafted items.
On Christmas Eve, there is a popular church service that is attended by many in the national Greenlandic dress or white anorak. Following that, an important part of Christmas in Greenland are coffee and cakes, along with mattak (whale skin with blubber) and kiviak (auk meat). Presents to be opened often include traditional model sledges for children or locally crafted clothing.
When Christmas is over, Greenland quiets down at the end of December and awaits the New Year. The locals actually celebrate it twice! There's the Danish New Year at 8 pm Greenland time and then the true Greenlandic New Year is celebrated at midnight local time. It's a beautiful sight when you catch the Northern Lights at the same time!