Mrs. Dorthe Hertling who was married to former Greenland Minister Knud Hertling coined the idea of the Greenland Christmas Seal. Along with Poul Madsen, then in charge of the Greenlander’s Home in Hellerup and also known for his great love for Greenland and his vast collection of Inuit art that was donated back to museums in Greenland, she contacted the artist Jens Rosing and asked him to draw the first Christmas Seal, which was presented in 1974. To this day, most people in Greenland know this image. It is the reindeer with the North Star and the Big Dipper, and today it is the logo of the Foundation.
The foundation was created in 1974 to support Greenlandic culture. Revenues from the sale of the Greenland Christmas Seal goes to Greenlandic culture and to support Greenlandic arts and crafts.
The Greenland Christmas Seal’s boards are comprised of the Executive Committee in Nuuk and the Support Committee in Denmark, consisting of people working on a voluntary basis. The primary task of the Executive Committee in Nuuk’s is to handle the competition for the coming Christmas Seal and the selection of submitted paintings, which will be the subject for this year’s Christmas seal. The Central Committee in Nuuk also manages the funds of the Foundation. They award associations, artists, and people who distinguish themselves in Greenlandic culture with funding.
The Support Committee in Denmark is responsible for the technical aspects of reproducing the image of the annual stamp after it has been selected. They have the painting or artwork transformed into an image that is printable, a task done in close collaboration with Rosendahls Printing. The volunteers of the Foundation are always excited on the day the images go into print. That means that the day for the unveiling of the seal is approaching.
The presentation of the Christmas seal takes place on the last Wednesday in October in Nuuk and the last Thursday in October in Copenhagen.
The presentation is conducted in front of approximately 100 invited guests, including the Foundation’s patron, HRH Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, who attends when he has the opportunity to do so. A lot of press also comes to this event.
The event takes place in a Greenlandic manner with kaffemik (coffee), Greenlandic cake, Greenlandic choir and a keynote speaker. It is a nice afternoon with happy reunions and nice presentations of the new seals.
After the presentation, the Greenland Christmas Seal is sold at our sales offices around the country, both in Greenland and Denmark.