It is located between the Arctic and Atlantic oceans,
east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.
Reason for naming the country
The most commonly accepted theory is that the Norwegian Viking “Erik the Red” was the first to settle on Greenland after he was exiled from Iceland for murder and set out on his journey to a relatively unexplored land in the northeast. When he arrived, he called the new land “Greenland” in order to attract new settlers.
However, during the summer months, especially around that time in Southern Greenland, Greenland actually was (and is) green.
The name of the country in the indigenous Greenlandic language is Kalaallit Nunaat ("land of the Kalaallit"). The Kalaallit are the indigenous Greenlandic Inuit people who inhabit the country's western region.
The Greenland flag was adopted on June 21, 1985.
The flag of Greenland consists of two equal-sized horizontal stripes - the top stripe is white and the bottom is red.
On the left side of the Greenland flag is a circle divided in half -
the top half is red and the bottom is white. Each half is divided
along the horizontal center of the flag.
The Christiansen, the flag's designer, said "the large white part in the flag represents the ice cap and the red part in the circle represents our fjords.
The white part of the circle symbolizes the icebergs and the pack ice, and the large red part in the flag represents the ocean."
Both Greenlandic -an Eskimo–Aleut language- and Danish have been used in public affairs since the establishment of home rule in 1979; the majority of the population can speak both languages.
Greenlandic became the sole official language in June 2009, and Danish is still widely used in the administration and in higher education.
The major religion in Greenland is Protestant Christianity, represented mainly by the Church of Denmark, which is Lutheran in orientation.
The Roman Catholic minority is pastorally served by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Copenhagen.
Danish krone (DKK)
±00:00 GMT to
Devolved government within a parliamentary constitutional monarchy
In Greenland, a former Danish territory, the climate is arctic along the north-central coasts, where the temperatures of the warmest months are around freezing (0 °C or 32 °F) and subarctic on the south-central coasts, where the average temperatures in the summer months are above freezing, but still below 10 °C (50 °F).
It goes without saying that the largest settlements are located in this area that has a relatively milder climate.
Finally, there is the vast inland area, where the temperature remains around or below freezing even in the summer months.
Greenland is a very large island and is very extended in latitude, in fact, the southern tip is located at the same latitude as Oslo (Norway), while the northernmost tip is the land closest to the North Pole, which is about 700 kilometers (400 miles) away.
Much of the island is covered by an ice sheet, called Inlandsis, which formed up to 3,000 meters (10,000 ft) thick in the interior. The ice sheet is not stable, but moves slowly, sliding towards the sea by gravity. The ice flows to the sea through the fjords, giving birth to icebergs which then drift away in the sea.
In the center and north, the coldest month is typically February, and sometimes even March; March is usually as cold as January or even colder.
This happens because at these latitudes, in winter the sun never rises, and even when it rises above the horizon in March, it initially remains very low and fails to warm the soil, also because the latter is covered with snow and therefore it reflects most of the solar rays.
In April, in the center and north, temperatures are still very low, that is, many degrees below freezing.
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