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Ullortuneq 2019

Greenland National Day of Greenland

Ullortuneq is the National Day of Greenland
Greenland is the world's largest island the least densely populated territory in the world.

When is Ullortuneq?

How long until Ullortuneq?
This holiday next takes place in 247 Days.
Dates of Ullortuneq
Year Weekday Date
2020 Saturday
2019 Friday
2018 Thursday
Duration
1 Day
Summary
Means 'longest day' and is celebrated on the Summer Solstice on either 20 or 21 June

In Greenland, celebrates its National Day on 21 June.

This public holiday is known as 'Ullortuneq', which meanings 'the longest day' as 21 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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