What Cambridge traditions screamed Bridgemas this year?

Take a sneak peek into how students’ celebrated Bridgemas this year!

They say it’s never too early to embrace the Christmas spirit, and Cambridge certainly seems to agree. Though this may seem like an odd tradition to most freshers (including myself) Bridgemas is always a great excuse to kick off the festivities a month in advance!

I interviewed a few freshers for ideas on how they planned to celebrate. Were you forced to celebrate Bridgemas with a mind-numbing essay-crisis instead of a party? Did you manage to have a Bridgemas party but are keen to keep the Christmas spirit going for the rest of term? Don’t be afraid to borrow your favourite ideas for a belated celebration or store them away for next year!


Louisa pitched a tradition that most screams Cambridge.

She revealed “I booked my ticket for the Bridgemas formal in Queens. I wore a red dress underneath my gown, and  tinsel as my main accessory!”

A candle-lit, three-course meal (with a bottle of Sainsbury’s red) does sound enticing. And once the Christmas tree is decorated in the buttery, her Christmas spirit will be well and truly ignited! This is generally a yearly tradition in most colleges, so if you didn’t make it last week not to worry.

Queens’ formal night

Cheeky trip to Jack’s?

Charlotte offered an alternative, but equally tempting, suggestion for all sweet-tooths out there. Apparently, the best way to combat the cold Cambridge wind is to embrace it!

“I convinced all my friends to come and buy a tub of cinnamon biscuit to drop into hot chocolate  – in true Italian affogato style. I decorated my room with fairy lights and my Alexa was blasting Mariah Carey when we got back!”

She does go to Corpus Christi after all, and the short walk home kept the ice-cream intact (for non-central students you might have to detour and enjoy your goods on the lawn in Kings Parade next time!)

Picture House Marathon

For a chill night out, follow Priya’s example and visit the Picture House cinema for a Harry Potter marathon.

“Harry Potter always involves some type of Christmas scene. And the parallels with Cambridge formals and buildings are uncanny! Next year I’ll go all out and swap my gown with a cloak.”

It’s Chapel Time

If you’re in the mood for a more spiritual and cultural experience, why not check out your college chapel choir service? Tabatha (a soprano at Clare’s) confided:

“I think our carol night provided an informal change to our usual Latin repertoire, I would love for people to come and listen next year (or next term for that matter) – I think it brightens up the atmosphere.”

If you’re lucky you might be allowed to sing (probably hum to be honest) along to the classics!

This compelling publicity proves Tabatha’s point!

A meat-free alternative

To try and shake things up I asked Saoirse –my favourite vegan– how she celebrated Bridgemas with a bang!

“My staircase organized a turkey night so I stole the bread sauce and cranberry but bought a vegan alternative. They got theirs  ready-made too anyway… we don’t have any ovens! We all ended up in Lola’s as usual and it was actually really fun!”

We love Lola Lo’s

These nights out all seemed very successful, so don’t be shy to borrow some ideas for next year (or actual Christmas!)  And remember to make the most of the continuing festivities  – you definitely deserve a break. 

All images credits, including the feature image, are author’s own.

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