Saturday, 21 June 2014

Snow! On The First Day Of Summer!!

Happy Greenland National Day everyone!  I’ve always liked that Greenland’s National Day falls on the first day of summer.  And I’ve always felt that the first day of summer is a great reason to celebrate.  In Greenland it’s a double celebratory whammy.  National Day and the first day of summer weren’t the only two things to fall on June 21 in Upernavik.  Snow fell.  Great fluffy snowflakes spiraled down from a partially overcast sky.  At times the sun was shining while snow clouds dumped their contents here and there on Upernavik. I’m Canadian.  I grew up in a heavy snow belt area.  I spend much of my life in Polar areas but this was the first time that I’ve experienced a snow fall on the first day of summer.  It was special.  It was grand!
Speaking of grand, it was grand to see the red and white flag of Greenland flying so proudly in front of many homes.  And it was grand to see the local people dressed up in their traditional formal clothing. 

To celebrate national day there were several activities organized.  There was a sermon in the church which was followed by the choir singing.  In the community hall, coffee, tea and cake were served.  A service at the cemetery followed the church service.

Later in the day at 13:00, the choir sang and there was traditional Greenlandic dancing at the King’s Square.
Blue jackets were seen spread throughout Upernavik, from the pier, all the way up to the airport.  Everyone had plenty of time to attend the various functions and to take a stroll about town.
The last Polar Cirkel boat left shore at 15:30. 
You know… normally I would say that June 21st is the longest day of the year, but that simply isn’t true when you are above the Arctic Circle (N 66º33’).  At this latitude there are many days that are the longest day of the year!
We’ve been enjoying the longest day of the year for several days now as the further north you go, the earlier the perpetual sun arrives.  For example: the sun has not gone below the horizon in Upernavik for several days now as Upernavik is at 72º47’.  We will have at least three more of those endless days.    But now, it’s south bound that we go.