As a multicultural country, all festivals are celebrated with lots of joy and gusto. Some of the popular festivals are Diwali, Holi, and Eid, but you may be surprised to know that India is home to a considerable population of Christians, who, along with the rest of the country, celebrate Christmas with their own rituals and traditions. However, compared to other religious festivals, Christmas is quite a small festival in India, due to the number of people who are Christians (about 2.3%) compared to people who belong to other religions. Christmas in India is particularly religious, with church services playing a huge role in celebrating this festival.
Churches start planning their celebrations and masses, and households start planning their food, sweets, and decorations. It is a colorful festival as local stores, markets, and malls are draped in multicolored twinkling fairy lights, paper streamers, and flowers. For Indians, festivals are always celebrated with lights and colors, and Christmas is no exception. Churches are decorated using stunning light shows and look spectacular in the night. Most families put up a Christmas tree as usual as a part of celebration. One of the most enduring Christmas traditions is that of the midnight mass. Churches start their services with carol singing, after which the Christmas mass is held. Along with food, Christmas cribs are an important part of our Christmas traditions. At midnight on Christmas Eve, baby Jesus is placed in the crib.
Above were the overall celebration of Christmas in India. In several parts of the country Christmas is celebrated with pomp and show, zeal and enthusiasm; also the different customs and traditions add an interesting flavour to the celebration of this festival in India.
If you want to party hard on Christmas then Goa is the paradise. Goa shines in all its glory during the Christmas season. The entire city is decorated with poinsettia flowers and lights. In the midnight, masses sing carols and this goes on till early hours of the morning. Even the beach shacks and restaurants serve Christmas lunches and dinners and have live bands playing.
There all night long parties organized on the beaches like Anjuna, Mapusa and Candolim. With its rich colonial influence, <Daman and Diu celebrates Christmas with a Portuguese flavour. Several cultural shows are organized here; one can even see Portuguese dance form like Corrindinho here. One may also like to attend the mass in churches like Saint Paul’s Church, Se Cathedral and Church of Our Lady of Rosary.
Christmas in Kerala is surely not the same as any other place around the country. There is a local touch to this high spirit festival and it is something that you need to witness rather than be told about. Adding to the joy are gorgeous beaches and serene backwaters, where you surely want to spend some time. The restaurants in Kerala offer heavy discounts on food and drink during Christmas season.
Mumbai is the city that has wholeheartedly embraced all the diverse cultures of India is a wonderful place to celebrate Christmas. Hill Road, Bandra and Church Gate are popular places where Christmas is celebrated with immense enthusiasm and fervor. Almost all churches around the city organize a midnight mass. The bakeries are replete with season’s best desserts and the shopping falls are decorated in a way to give festive feel.
Dadra Nagar and Haveli are some of lesser spoken about destinations and December is the best time to see this Union Territory as one can witness the grand celebration here. Christmas is celebrated in traditional way and has a tribal touch, which is quite interesting to see. Dadra Nagar and Haveli have some exotic beaches, where you and your loved ones can spend some quality time on Christmas.
A beautiful Christmas celebration waits at Shillong for you. The streets, houses and churches are decorated with shimmering lights; people prepare traditional cuisine and spend time signing carols and hymns in the evening. Few churches also have local bands playing the gospel music. The picture of traditional Christmas in the hills is no less than a Christmas card! A perfect place to feel the Christmas celebrations and the chill. Other places to enjoy Christmas in India are Pondicherry, Shimla, Delhi and Kolkata.
Christianity is not a major religion of India, but Christians in India celebrate Christmas by enjoying several dishes, such as Allahabadi cake, Candy canes, Plum cakes, chocolate covered fruits, dumplings, tarts, roast chicken, biriyani, stew, mixed nuts, cup cakes, and drinks such as cider and ginger Ale etc. Parties are arranged on this day where families, friends, and relatives gathered at one spot and party long night with music, dance, food, and drinks. India grabs a lot of attention at this time because people visit from different spots.