CHRISTMAS in GREENLAND is a wonderful time for all. Decorating CHRISTMAS trees forms an important part of the CHRISTMAS celebrations in GREENLAND. The CHRISTMAS trees are imported from Denmark and other countries, as these trees do not grow in the country. One unusual custom followed in GREENLAND, is that the men serve food and coffee to the women of the house on CHRISTMAS Eve. The festive spirit of CHRISTMAS is mostly related to the western countries, but you might be surprised to know that countries in the far north, such as GREENLAND, also share the same festive galore as you would find in western or European countries. CHRISTMAS is a major festival in GREENLAND and is celebrated with a lot of pomp and show. Family reunions, parties, gif exchange, relishing scrumptious meals and decorating houses – all of this is a part of CHRISTMAS festivity.


One of the important CHRISTMAS must-haves is ‘mattak’. It is essentially whale-skin, with a strip of blubber inside. The dish is believed to taste like fresh coconut, but is too tough to chew and is thus, usually swallowed. Another major CHRISTMAS food item is the ‘kiviak’. It is the raw flesh of little auks (a type of arctic bird), which is buried whole in sealskin for several months, until it reaches an advanced stage of decomposition. Games follow the CHRISTMAS meal. The whole family takes part in the CHRISTMAS games. A unique customary practice followed in GREENLAND is that on CHRISTMAS, it is the men who work, while the women rest. Men usually look after their women on this day. So, if you want your man to serve you, just head to GREENLAND on CHRISTMAS.After the feast, the family members play games as part of their celebrations. As CHRISTMAS is a special occasion for all, people attend Masses at church, dressed in their traditional GREENLANDic outfits. An exceptional tradition of GREENLAND is that, during CHRISTMAS, groups of children sing CHRISTMAS carols in front of people’s houses and receive goodies from the residents.


Almost every town or hillside in GREENLAND boasts of having a wonderfully bedecked CHRISTMAS tree, apart from those found in the homes and offices. These trees are decorated with candles and bright ornaments. One of the traditional GREENLANDic items is the sealskin breeches, known as kamiks. They are hung side by side on the CHRISTMAS tree, with the traditional hearts and tinsel. CHRISTMAS tree is mostly decorated by parents on the evening of 23rd December.


Weeks before CHRISTMAS, people decorate their houses with glittering ornaments and string lights. They hang big CHRISTMAS stars over their windows to illuminate their houses and to reflect the festive occasion. In GREENLAND, people not only light several candles and red CHRISTMAS stars in their homes, but these are also lit in shops across towns and cities. The streets are heavily lit with CHRISTMAS lights and stars, which look gorgeous in the backdrop of the night. All the CHRISTMAS decorations are usually taken down after 6th January or the ‘Twelfth Night’ after CHRISTMAS.

The CHRISTMAS trees are lit on the first Sunday of the Advent. In GREENLAND, a CHRISTMAS tree is placed on a hill in each village for everyone to witness and appreciate. At home, people in GREENLAND decorate their CHRISTMAS trees with candles, tinsels and beautiful ornaments on the 23rd of December. Neatly wrapped presents are placed under the CHRISTMAS tree, comprising of popular gifts like miniature sleds, mitts made from sealskin or a pair of polished tusks.

A magnificent feast is served on CHRISTMAS Eve that includes GREENLAND’s best dishes. A huge CHRISTMAS cake is served along with homemade mulled wine as part of the feast. The ‘suaasat’ is a soup, which is a favourite dish among the people of GREENLAND. Other CHRISTMAS dishes include barbecued caribou and sushi. Berries and apples with crisp toppings are a popular dessert, served along with other dishes.


According to traditions in GREENLAND, men often look after the women in the household, by dishing out hot cups of coffee and food on CHRISTMAS Eve. After the CHRISTMAS dinner, families get together and indulge in merrymaking, often, by playing games. One special game played by the family members is passing an object from one hand to another under a cloth. On CHRISTMAS Eve, every person in GREENLAND attends church in their GREENLANDic dress or in a white ‘anorak’.

It is customary for children in GREENLAND to sing CHRISTMAS carols in front of houses in the town. Following their performance, these children are usually awarded with small treats and gifts by the residents in the community.

The people in GREENLAND believe that Santa Claus lives in Spraglebugten, GREENLAND. They claim and take pride in the fact that GREENLAND is the home of Santa Claus or ‘Father CHRISTMAS’. Children in GREENLAND, as well as, in other countries write letters to Santa Claus asking him for gifts. The letters are addressed to the ‘North Pole’ but eventually; they reach the post office in GREENLAND’s capital, Nuuk. Children know that GREENLAND is connected to the North Pole by ice and so, around 50,000 letters are sent to Santa Claus annually.

So,CHRISTMAS is a special time for the people in GREENLAND. CHRISTMAS decorations form an integral part of the celebrations. People believe that GREENLAND is the home of Santa Claus. The tradition of men serving women food and coffee on CHRISTMAS Eve is a unique one followed in GREENLAND, for years. In GREENLAND as well, CHRISTMAS gives way to enjoying and relishing delicacies.




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