Half of Norwegians eat ribbe for Christmas

Traditions weigh heavy for Christmas Eve dinner in Norway


Photo: Gorm Kallestad / NTB
Ribbe—pork belly roasted to crispy perfection—is the most popular choice for Christmas Eve dinner in Norway. Pinnekjøtt—cured ribs of lamb or mutton—is also a favorite.


A thin wallet will not affect what Norwegians eat for Christmas this year, according to figures from MatPrat. More people think it is important to have traditional Christmas food this year than ever.

“Norwegians love their traditions, and it is still ribbe (roasted pork belly) and pinnekjøtt (cured ribs of lamb or mutton) that are Norwegians’ favorites on Christmas Eve, said analysis manager Gunnar Thoen in MatPrat to NTB.

“What is special this year is that more people report that they will eat traditional Christmas food. From last year, we see an increase in both those who answer that they will eat ribbe and those who answer that they will eat pinnekjøtt,” said Thoen further.

Opinion has just carried out MatPrat’s annual Christmas survey, where a nationally representative selection responds to Christmas habits, traditions, and plans.

The proportion who will have ribbe on Christmas Eve increased to 49%, while the proportion who will have pinnekjøtt is at 39%.

Only 5% answered that turkey is on the menu on Christmas Eve.

This article originally appeared in the December 2023 issue of The Norwegian American.

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NTB (Norsk Telegrambyrå), the Norwegian News Agency, is a press agency and wire service that serves most of the largest Norwegian media outlets. The agency is located in Oslo and has bureaus in Brussels, Belgium, and Tromsø in northern Norway