Julens mat og måltider

Document type

Publication date

  • 2006-01

Series/Report no

  • SIFO-report;1-2006


  • Forbruksforskningsinstituttet SIFO


  • 1520-6760


  • In this report we have taken a closer look at food and the significance of meals during the Christmas season. Among the questions that the report set out to answer are: What is traditional Norwegian Christmas food? What and how do Norwegians eat during Christmas? What social and cultural meanings are attributed to Christmas food and meals? What differences emerge with regard to the choice of Christmas food? Christmas is a ritual in which most Norwegians (80 percent) take part. Both the quantitative and the qualitative studies show that the Christmas season is a very social time – during Christmas the extended family gathers – and food and meals are an important part of the social intercourse. How, then, do Norwegians think and act in shaping their Christmas food and meals? In general we can say that when we choose Christmas food, we do so based on a collective and stable action pattern and more or less unconsciously reproduce many of the traditions that have characterised this ritual throughout generations. Christmas time can almost be described as a food memorial feast where we bring with us memories, habits, traditions and rituals from the family in which we grew up. Furthermore, it is evident that through Christmas food rituals we more or less unconsciously positions ourselves with regard to a number of (food)cultural issues connected with abundance, belonging, authenticity, gender, life phase etc.