National Day: June 21
National Day is a public holiday celebrated in Greenland.
Like many countries, Greenland also celebrates National Day, and it’s celebrated on June 21 every year. It also marks the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere meaning conditions are more likely to be agreeable for this relatively cold country.
History of National Day in Greenland
The area now known as Greenland was taken into Norwegian control in the 13th century, and then passed to Denmark through a union of the countries in 1380. Though little was done with Greenland initially, Denmark eventually asserted its sovereignty over the land in the 18th and 19th centuries. Though Norway tried to reclaim parts of eastern Greenland in 1933, the area remained fully under Danish control.
On May 1, 1979, Greenland was legally granted home rule by Denmark’s national parliament. Unhappy with the European Economic Community’s regulations and bans on commercial fishing and products made from seals, Greenland left the international organization.
In late November of 2008, 75 percent of voters approved a referendum for greater autonomy, and on June 21, 2009 the referendum went into effect making Greenland responsible for its own future. While not true independence, the government of Greenland has called the referendum a major step in the direction towards independence.
Greenland’s National Day Traditions, Customs and Activities
National Day celebrations are marked by a variety of programs in every settlement in Greenland. The celebrations include morning songs, speeches, hoisting the national flag, and the act of “kaffemik”, a social gathering around a cup of coffee.
Apart from this there are a number of programs for entertainment like music and dance and several cultural events which portray the culture and tradition of Greenland. The national channel broadcasts news from all the towns as to how the celebrations are taking shape.