Ullortuneq in Greenland in 2024

Ullortuneq in Greenland in 2024
  How long until Ullortuneq?
  Dates of Ullortuneq in Greenland
2025 Greenland Sat, Jun 21 National Holiday
2024 Greenland Fri, Jun 21 National Holiday
2023 Greenland Wed, Jun 21 National Holiday
2022 Greenland Tue, Jun 21 National Holiday
2021 Greenland Mon, Jun 21 National Holiday

Means 'longest day' and is celebrated on the Summer Solstice on either 20 or 21 June

When is Ullortuneq?

In Greenland, celebrates its National Day on 21st June.

This public holiday is known as 'Ullortuneq', which meanings 'the longest day' as 21st June is the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere.

History of Ullortuneq

In most countries, the National Day is a chance to celebrate important events in that country's nationhood, such as independence or adopting a constitution. In a few countries, it may be celebrated on the feast day of the patron saint of that country.

Greenland uniquely takes a different approach. At such high latitudes, the switch of the seasons is paramount to the survival of the nation, so marking its national day on the summer solstice, the day when the sun has reached its highest latitude for the year and daylight hours are at a maximum makes a great deal of sense.

Did you know?

The word Solstice comes from the Latin ‘solstitium’ meaning ‘Sun stands still’ because the movement of the Sun’s path north or south appears to stop before changing direction.

In a way, Ullortuneq is such a logical choice for a public holiday. As one journeys towards the equator, holidays and festivals switch from being based on the movement of the sun to that of the moon. Basing dates on the moon may not be astronomically as accurate as the sun, but if the seasons don't change as much when nearer the equator, why not use the much easier method of marking time with the moon?

The National Day was introduced in 1983 as one of the Home Rule’s traditions and is one of several expressions of national identity.

The use of the sun as part of the national identity of Greenland doesn't stop with Ullortuneq. Greenland's flag was designed by a local artist and adopted on 21 June 1985. Using the Danish colours, white represents the ice and red is for the sun.

Ullortuneq is celebrated in all parts of the island. The day is marked by patriotic speeches, flag hoisting ceremonies church services, music and folk dancing with many islanders dressing up for the day in traditional costumes.

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