The Greenlandic Christmas tree: a new Greenlandic tradition?

 

FullSizeRender (2) Instagram photo by: @hannekirkegaard83

A tree grows in Greenland

This year marks the first year that the local forest supplied Christmas trees in Greenland. Unlike the coniferous giants found elsewhere in the world, the trees from Narsarsuaq in South Greenland are diminutive yet cute and fragrant, which South Greenlanders say they prefer over the imported ilk.

All right, ‘local’ has to be taken with a little grain of salt, as these trees were originally transplanted from abroad back in the 1980’s. Spruces from Alaska and Norway, Pine from western USA, and other species from Russia and elsewhere make up Kalaallit Nunaata Orpiuteqarfia, the Greenlandic Arboretum, a true forest.

UAK_Forest Greenlandic Arboretum in Narsarsuaq. Photo by: Kenneth Høegh

Unique Greenlandic scent

Evidently the Greenlandic trees have a scent that suits perfectly to a Greenlander’s nose. Check out this video from the local news about the new trend of Greenlandic Christmas trees. “Tipigi!” is how the clip opens, which is a Greenlandic exclamation when something smells strongly – good strong, in this case.

Fun fact that has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas but everything to do with celebrating special days – Greenlanders write “Tipigi!” on a friend’s or relative’s Facebook wall the day before their birthday to poke a little fun at them.

Holiday markets, orange stars, and other festivities

Christmas trees aren’t the only way Greenlanders celebrate the holidays. Santa Claus comes by in a red helicopter to visit the children, homemade goods are sold at the holiday market, and people hunker down for hygge in the comfort of their own homes, to name a few. Read more here on Greenland.com!

Juullimi pilluarit ukiortaassamilu! That’s Greenlandic for “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!”

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