Icelanders Stick to Classic Christmas Dinners Skip to content

Icelanders Stick to Classic Christmas Dinners

By Iceland Review

The most popular main course on Christmas Eve this year—as it has been in recent decades—is hamborgarahryggur, a smoked rack of pork, which 53 percent of respondents in a recent MMR (Media and Market Research) survey said they would serve on that day.


Hangikjöt, smoked lamb, will be served in most Icelandic homes on Christmas Day. Photo by Eygló Svala Arnarsdóttir.

Another classic Christmas dinner, ptarmigan, comes second with 9.8 percent of respondents planning to serve the game on Christmas Eve, Fréttabladid reports.

However, turkey, a novelty, is gaining on the ptarmigan with 8.3 percent of respondents in the survey intending to have turkey on December 24.

On Christmas Day, hangikjöt, smoked lamb, is the clear winner with almost 75 percent of respondents saying they will stick to this tradition. Approximately eight percent are going to have hamborgarahryggur for dinner on December 25.

MMR concluded that Icelanders are strict about sticking to tradition on Christmas Day but are a little more open to novelties on Christmas Eve.

The survey was conducted online December 7-9. There were 850 participants, out of whom 98.3 percent answered the question on Christmas dinners.

In other food news, approximately nine million mandarin oranges are sold in Iceland over the holidays, which means that every Icelander eats between 25 and 30 mandarins on average at this time of year.

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