Christmas In The Arctic


December 2018

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Juullimi pilluaritsi - Gleðileg jól - Buorit Juovllat - Kamgan Ukudigaa - God jul - Nollaig Chridheil - ᖁᕕᐊᓱᕝᕕᒻᒥ ᖁᕕᐊᓱᒋᑦᓯ - Frohe Weihnachten - Nollaig shona duit - Счастливого Рождества - Hyvää joulua - Quviasuvvimmi Quviasugitsi - Gleðilig jól - Quyanalghii Kuusma - Merry Christmas - Дьоллоох Ороһооспонон -

The JONAA defined region is one of multiple languages, some spoken by millions, others by thousands, even hundreds. Amongst them indigenous languages that do not exist in the written form. But all are equally important as foundations of our High North cultures, because our languages define who we are.

It is in several of these languages and with Christmas pictures from both past and present, that the JONAA editorial team wishes readers a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Wonderful year to come. May it bring us the wisdom to make the world a better place for our young generations who can only have faith and count on us to do right for their future.

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Festivities begin in Tinitequillaq, a small settlement of some 70 inhabitants on Greenland’s East Coast. Photographed two years ago at the annual Christmas celebrations where villagers gather to enjoy food, drink and each others company. JONAA©Kristjan Fridriksson


A Christmas greeting from Largs in Scotland with the statue of “Magnus the Viking” towering over his surroundings. A proud reminder for Scots of the Battle of Largs in 1261, when vikings were defeated. JONAA©Marc Turner

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Christmas dinner at a family home on the Reykjanes peninsula in Iceland. Surroundings embraced by the magical low light of High North winter on one of the year’s shortest days.
JONAA©Hans Vera

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Delicate Christmas lights in Frodba, a small village located farthest out on the north brink of Trongisvágsfjørður, an inlet on the east coast of the island of Suðuroy in the Faroe Islands. JONAA©Solja Bjarkadottir


Excitement and joy for the Christmas to come beam from young faces at a Santa Lucia celebration in a kindergarten in Nuuk, Greenland earlier this month. JONAA©Angu Motzfeldt


The beautiful city of Salekhard ornamented by ice and snow. Salekhard, which is at the heart of the national Yamal Nenets indigenous district in north-western Siberia, is the world’s only city that sits right on the Arctic Circle. JONAA@Vilborg Einarsdottir

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Christmas coming in Camden, Maine. JONAA©David Wright


The Christmas market coming to an end in Hafnarfjörður, Iceland. JONAA©Olafur Árdal Sigurdsson

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Happy faces at the lighting of the Christmas tree in Kulusuk village on Greenland’s East Coast, where roughly 200 people live in glorious surroundings of mountains, islands and ice. And, of course the traditional Christmas star in every window. JONAA©Else Nuko


Tranquility, frozen stillness and a clear December sky embrace the indigenous village of Guovdageaidnu as is its name in the Sami language of Northern Norway. A home to some 1300 people, Kautokeino is the main village and administrative centre of the Kautokeino 9,707-square-kilometre municipality which is the largest by area out of the 422 municipalities in Norway. JONAA©Taqralik Partridge

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JONAA©Daniel Bookham

Like many cities in the JONAA region, Denmark’s capital Copenhagen becomes somewhat of a Christmas Wonderland with magical lighting and massive decorations in Tivoli - and the city’s Christmas Markets. JONAA©Daniel Bookham

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Students performing a Christmas play in the local school of Utsjoki in Sami Finland. And although it is a Moose, it’s a very appropriate Christmas decoration in this Sami region whose indigenous population has lived off reindeer herding through the centuries.
JONAA©Sisko Lánsman


Christmas time in the beautiful Arctic Capital of Tromsö, North Norway. JONAA©Linnea Nordström


Winter solstice is past and days beginning to get longer. Photographed in Tromsö, Norway. JONAA©Helge M. Markusson


Vilborg Einarsdottir is the Editor-in-Chief of JONAA, the Journal of the North Atlantic & Arctic and a JONAA partner & founder. Formally a journalist for 12 years at Morgunblaðið in Iceland, she has worked since 1996 as a specialised producer of  film, photography and media productions on extreme locations in Arctic Greenland and as a cultural producer in the Nordic-Arctic region. She is an awarded film and documentary scriptwriter and editor of photography books from the Arctic.



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