Christmas traditions


There is almost always snow in Nuuk in December, which create the perfect Christmas mood. A white Christmas is somewhat a tradition, though there have been a few Christmas Evenings without snow in Nuuk.

Through time, we have assembled the best traditions and developed them into our own, as we know them today.

Christmas came to Greenland in the 1700s with the Christian missionaries.

For many, church attendance and Christmas service still a big part of Christmas.


The poinsettia
It was the Herrnhuters who introduced the orange poinsettia star seen in many windows at Christmas, these definitely play a big role in creating the right Christmas mood.

Christmas Tree
The Christmas tree came to Greenland in the late 1800s.

Nuuk has a Christmas tree in the middle of the city. A lot op people gather to light the Christmas tree in early December.


Christmas food
There is a big difference between what people eat on Christmas Eve, depending on where in Greenland you live. Reindeer, lamb, musk ox, hare, razorbill , ptarmigan, halibut and whale steak are among the favorites.

Duck and pork are also eaten in many homes as a main course or as a supplement to Greenland’s own food.

Christmas Porridge
Christmas porridge is popular, and is usually enjoyed with butter and sprinkled with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.


Christmas cookies
Christmas isn’t complete for many people if there aren’t kleiner, brown cookies and peppernut cookies.


At Christmas people light cancels for the dead at the cemetery. A beautiful and moving tradition. Photo Gert Hansen.

Santa Lucia
The Lucia procession has been in Greenland for the past 40 years.


Santa Claus
It is by now a tradition in Nuuk that Air Greenland brings Santa by helicopter, and land behind the Queen Ingrid Hospital (Sana) Christmas morning, to share the joy at the hospital.

Christmas Stress
There are many other good things at Christmas. Christmas gifts, Christmas calendar, Christmas lunch, Christmas decorations, Christmas candy, Christmas lights, Christmas trees and more.

Remember that you do not need all the traditions to have a merry Christmas. The main thing is to be together and keep the joyful Christmas spirit.

Merry Christmas to all

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