The Kouamo Blog

  • Christmas traditions in Cameroon and Cuba
  • Julie Kouamo
  • AllNewsTravel Tales

Christmas traditions in Cameroon and Cuba

How will you be spending Christmas this year?

All around the globe, people experience their own winter festivities and unique traditions for the Christmas period. We have found out a little more about how people celebrate the season in Cuba and Cameroon - two of the countries which have inspired the current Kouamo collections.

Operation Christmas in Cameroon - Picture from Plain target Marketing

In Cameroon, Christmas is during the dry season and in the heat of the coffee and peanut harvest. Traditions have been heavily influenced by colonisation and French culture. Initially it was a purely religious celebration with Christian’s attending a midnight mass to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Today, it is a much celebrated holiday - people dress in their best clothes and there is much singing at church. People often visit family, decorate their homes and exchange gifts. 

Yule Log joyuxnoelbuch.esy.esAll of the children in the house place slippers under a tree and, despite the hot weather, families follow the French tradition of sharing a ‘Buche de Noel’ cake.This sweet roulade or sponge cake is formed to look like a miniature yule log and is a luxurious item for an average Cameroonian family.  

More about the Bangou collection inspired by Cameroon >







Kouamo Trinidad landscape

Before Christmas or ‘Nochebuena’ was banned in Cuba in 1969, it was a two week festivity where families would visit and share a special ‘Cena de Navidad’ meal on 24 December and a celebrate the Epiphany on 6 January. Traditionally pig was slow roasted over a pit and marinated with onions garlic and sour orange, then served with plantain, black beans, rice and Cuban bread. Christmas dinner ended by drinking wine and attending mass. This celebration was drawn to a close after the revolution as Fidel Castro felt the holiday was interfering with the production of sugarcane, one of the main exports of the island. In 1997, during the visit of Pope John Paul II, the holiday was officially restored again.

Trinidad Bell and church in CubaChurches now ring their bells, however on the whole it is still business as usual in modern day Cuba during the Christmas period. 

More about the Vinales collection inspired by Cuba

And what are your traditions? We are curious to know what you are up to for Christmas.. 

Share them with us until the 25th December in the comment box below and you will enter automatically our draw to win one of our beautiful fabric journals. Winners will be announced on our next newsletter and will be contacted by email. We can't wait to read all your stories!!


  • Julie Kouamo
  • AllNewsTravel Tales

Comments on this post (3)

  • Dec 13, 2015

    Born and raised in France with asian origins, Christmas has always been the best excuse to gather all my family around a good feast! We actually put aside the religious part as we are not all Christians. But, some of my family members leave the dinner around 11pm to go to the midnight mass in “Notre-Dame de Paris”.
    I love Christmas for many reasons, the atmosphere, the magic of this celebration with all the luminous trees, the smell of hot chocolate when I come home and the songs. It brings me back to my childhood. And on Christmas day, we wake up -very early -with the kids exciting screams to open their gifts brought by Santa Claus, under the tree!

    — Juliana

  • Dec 13, 2015

    One of the moment I remember regarding Christmas is surprisingly enough work related thanks to my German colleague. A few weeks before Christmas she used to celebrate Saint Nicolas at the office. She would bring a Christmas tree, nice tea , hot wine and German sweets. And she invited us all for a gathering. It was amazing because she managed to infuse a very nice spirit among the participants with her kindness. The fact that she was trying to embark us in her family tradition was perceived as a sign of generosity. And to me this is the essence of a holy day. H

    — Halima

  • Dec 08, 2015

    I come from a very large family and have 10 siblings so Christmas was always great fun. When I was young, instead of having gifts in a stocking or under a tree – they would be put in little piles in our living room. When we woke up in the morning the door would be locked and the curtains closed so there was no peeking. We would line up outside the door in age order with the youngest at the front and I can remember that the anticipation was almost unbearable. We were so excited! Occasionally someone would pick the wrong pile and that would make everything even more funny – especially when my brother thought he had a gift set of pink knickers! My favourite tradition now is to go for a walk on Christmas day, especially on a sunny cold day.

    — Josie

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