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Greenlanders celebrate the festival of Christmas in a traditional manner. Check out the various Christmas traditions and celebrations in Greenland.

Christmas in Greenland

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. Just like in other countries, in Greenland also, the preparations for Christmas start days in advance. The streets are illuminated, houses and shops are charmingly festooned and nativity scenes can be seen in churches and public areas.

Christmas Celebrations in Greenland
With the arrival of December, people in Greenland start decorating their houses and shops. One of the most prominent decor items seen in almost every Greenland house is a Christmas star, strung on the windows. Since the country is situated next to the North Pole, it receives little or almost no daylight. This is the only reason as to why illuminated stars are decorated on the windows of the homes and shops. Though no trees grow as far north as Greenland, Christmas tree still manages to be a part of the festival, as loads of them are imported from other countries.

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. Greenlanders celebrate Christmas by visiting each other, having parties, drinking coffee, eating cakes, exchanging gifts, singing carols and dancing the night out. Usually, model sledges, a pairs of polished walrus tusks or sealskin mitts are exchanged by people.

In Greenland as well, Christmas gives way to enjoying and relishing delicacies. 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!!