Singing, community singing and choral singing are a large part of Christmas in Greenland, whether it’s in a church or on the radio and TV, you listen to the Christmas carols and Christmas music. In the churches, two or three-part voice songs are often heard from the church pews as many Greenlanders are frequent church-goers and singers.The Christmas days are spent on time together with the family and friends and many small, spontaneous ‘kaffemikkers‘ are held here and there in competition with the family Christmas lunches. For many, Christmas is not complete without participating in a Christmas service and this is where one of the psalms ‘Guuterput’ (Our God) is mandatory and where there is rarely a dry eye afterwards.
CHRISTMAS IS ALWAYS WHITE
Christmas is always white in Greenland. Every single year. The churches in all towns and settlements are full to the brim on the Christmas days and sermons are held, psalms are sung in both Greenlandic and Danish. In some homes, the Christmas dinner menu is roast pork and duck, while others prefer Greenland lamb, musk or reindeer, razorbill and grouse, all depending on where on Greenland you live – lamb in the south, reindeer in the north.
The tradition in Greenland is that Christmas stars and other Christmas decorations are only removed on 6 January, the Twelfth Night. Here, the tradition is also to dress up.
In Greenland, the winter season is marked by unique traditions that have been passed down through generations. One of these customs is Mitaartut, which occurs around the time of Epiphany, celebrated on January 6th. This tradition is a blend of indigenous Inuit culture and Danish influence, offering a glimpse into Greenland’s rich heritage.
→ Read more about Mitaartut
But before then, the expression ’Juullimi Pilluarit’ is heard innumerable times everywhere in Greenland – it means ‘Merry Christmas’.