Our Traditions

Day to Day

This week we'd like to share with you some lesser known traditions which are shared by members of our Design Team. Perhaps you will find a new tradition to bring home to your family this year...

Christmas is a holiday that brings us together and we all have traditions that are unique and special to us. This week we’d like to share with you some lesser known traditions which are shared by members of our Design Team. Perhaps you will find a new tradition to bring home to your family this year!


Some of our Design Team are from Spain. Here there is less of a focus on Christmas Day and more of a focus on ‘Campanadas’ (12 Grapes) and ‘Los Reyes Magos’, (Three Wise Men). Campanadas takes place on New Year’s Eve and at midnight 12 bells ring and after each, you have to eat a grape. Doing this brings you good luck for the New Year ahead. As the story goes Three Wise Men arrive with presents for baby Jesus on the 6th of January. On the night of the 5th, children will leave carrots and milk for the camels, so they can deliver presents.


Our Designer Ann Marie is from Australia where surfing in Santa suits at Christmas is a popular tradition! There is a tradition of barbecuing on Christmas Day and on Boxing Day, people enjoy watching cricket. December is Australia’s hottest month of the year, so it makes sense for Christmas to be enjoyed on the beach.


‘Juletid’ in Norway begins with getting a ‘nisse’ out on display. A ‘nisse’ is a gnome or goblin and they are placed around the house to act like guardians that watch over you. The 23rd of December is ‘Lille Julaften’ (Little Christmas Eve). This is a time to clean and decorate the house, the tree and your gingerbread house. In Norway on Christmas Day, people eat rice porridge ‘risengrynsgrøt’, which is served with sugar, cinnamon and a touch of butter. A whole almond is buried inside and if you find it, you receive a stick of marzipan. Lots of fermented fish is eaten and aquavit is enjoyed.

Here is our very own gingerbread house in the lobby at Ham Yard Hotel…


The 8th of December is a bank holiday in Argentina and this is a time dedicated to decorating the home for Christmas. Families come together to set up a Christmas tree and hang decorations. On Christmas Eve, it’s tradition to light a single firework at midnight and toast with Champagne. The single firework is intended to represent ‘Papa Noel’ (Father Christmas) on his way to deliver presents.


Christmas Eve, ‘Kūčios’, is the main event in Lithuania where our Design Studio’s Mante is from. The day is spent fasting and preparing the house. The Kūčios meal consists of 12 dishes to represent the twelve disciples and does not contain any meat or alcohol. The meal starts at midnight or when the first stars can be seen in the night’s sky. Straw is a traditional Christmas decoration that is laid under a tablecloth on the dining table. Whoever pulls out the longest straw will have a long life and luck for the year ahead.


Ellie is from Austria where presents are opened on Christmas Eve. It is tradition to eat goose, dumplings and red cabbage. The focus is on gold and silver decorations on the Christmas tree and a star made of straw on the top. Christmas in Austria starts around 4pm on Christmas Eve (‘Heilige Abend’). The Christmas tree is lit for the first time and everyone joins to sing carols around the tree.


The celebrations start even earlier in Barbados with blue and yellow lights going up in the cities on November 1st to celebrate the month of Barbados’ independence. The lights change to red and green on December 1st to celebrate Christmas. Traditionally a glazed ham is eaten with jug jug. Similar to haggis, jug jug is made from pigeon peas, herbs, meat and spices. Sorrel is the traditional Christmas drink which has cloves, orange zest and fresh ginger. The day is topped off with a slice of Bajan great cake or rum cake.

What Christmas traditions do you enjoy to celebrate? Share your festive moments with us on Instagram @KitKempDesignThread.