National Day in Greenland
On June 21st every year in Greenland, a holiday called National Day is observed. This holiday is a national festival that involves all settlements and towns in this island country. Since it’s a public holiday, it’s a day off for the general population, and government offices, schools, and many businesses are closed for the day.
In Greenland, this holiday is known as “Ullortuneq,” a name that means “longest day.” That’s because June 21st is the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, which means it is the longest day of the entire year. This holiday allows Greenlanders to express their national pride.
The History of National Day in Greenland
This holiday can be traced back to 1983. This is when the holiday began as a part of the Home Rule agreement. The Greenland Home Rule Referendum of 1979 was a referendum in which the people of Greenland voted for greater autonomy from Denmark. 70.1% of voters voted for the referendum, and that led to Greenland gaining sovereignty in areas such as health, education, the environment, and fisheries. It also led to the creation of the Greenlandic Parliament.
Observing National Day in Greenland
This holiday is a day on which Greenlanders can take the time to express their national identity. In settlements and towns all over the country, there are songs and speeches, church services, and flag-raising ceremonies, along with plenty of entertainment. Entertainment that features music and folk dancing. There is also a full display of kayaking skills that everyone can enjoy.
One of the most important traditions observed on this day is kaffemik. This is an important tradition that’s observed in Greenland whenever there is any kind of special event. It’s an event where people show up, serve cake and coffee, and enjoy foods such as fish soup, seal, reindeer, or King Crab legs. It’s a day for people to share each other’s company, see each other’s homes, and enjoy some good food.