It's the most delightful season of the year! During Christmas, for a few weeks every year, the world transforms into a magical wonderland. People seem more joyous, and even winter somehow feels more pleasant.
Whether you're observing a religious festival, like Diwali or Christmas, or a more worldly event, you're sure to have your own choice of customs and practices that make the festive season more unique. The Christmas routines in India is just like every else in the world; pompous, satisfying, and promises an abundance of joyful fun.
Let's take a tour across India to find out how Christmas is celebrated in India!
Christmas In Kerala
In Kerala, where 19% of the state's 35 million residents are Christians; Christmas is celebrated in much pomp and grandeur than any other place in India. Traditional Catholics fast and don't eat non-vegetarian food from 1 December to 24 December - until the midnight mass. Christmas lanterns hanging outside every apartment and homes are a regular sight. Consequently, most of the stores in Kerala are loaded with creative and diverse Christmas merchandises. In addition to that, people make traditional cribs in their homes and churches, owing to the local custom.
Christmas In Goa
Goa is synonymous with Christianity and henceforth Christmas! Moreover, Goa has historical connections with Portugal; therefore, Goa has lots of 'western' practices as part of their Christmas fete. Majority of Christians in this pint-sized state are Catholics, and they engage in singing and enjoying carols in their neighbourhood, a week before Christmas. Christmas trees are widespread in the region, as is the 'traditional' rich fruit Christmas cake! Lots of local sweets are prepared and distributed during Christmas in Goa, and the most popular dessert in Goa is Dodol (toffees that have coconut and cashew in them).
Christmas In Puducherry
Illuminated weeks preceding up to Christmas, Puducherry makes a perfect Christmas getaway with family and friends. In some regions in the city, the tradition of decking artificial trees goes far back as the 17th century! Most of the markets and streets are ornamented with Christmas lights, and many presents and greetings are exchanged. An evening visit to the enchanting, illuminated world of the Marche de Noel or Christmas market in Puducherry, is sure to put a smile on your face.
Christmas In Mumbai
Streets in Mumbai are often decorated with festive embellishments during Christmas. However, in Mumbai, small Christmas trees are typically put up and decorated at homes on the eve of 24 December.
Festive ceremonies in Mumbai commence on 24 December, on Christmas Eve. 25 December is a public holiday, and many families come together to either visit the churches or rejoice a little excursion at a nearby park.
Christmas In Bangalore
In Bangalore, Christmas illustrations start a week before Christmas. Families decorate their residences with lots of fairy lanterns and bright displays. The next day of Christmas, i.e., on Boxing Day, friends and family usually meet up to exchange gifts. Besides that, Bangalore streets are lit up representing the best of Christmas celebrations in South India.
Christmas In Daman and Diu
Since Daman and Diu was once a Portuguese colony, a few traditional Catholics in the locality celebrate Christmas on 24 December. Many families put up a nativity scene, where an idol of Baby Jesus is placed in the crib and gifts are swapped after the midnight mass. And this lesser-known union territory of India is home to a Portuguese Baroque structure, St. Paul's Church, which hosts a prevalent midnight mass every Christmas.
Christmas In Shillong
In Shillong, about 5 in ten people are Christians! Christmas, however, is very commercialised and decorations are abundant in the city with huge volumes of tiny fairy light decorations. Stunning illustrations can be seen throughout the central shopping area, especially Shillong Police Bazaar, which is the main highlight in Shillong during Christmas.
You can also visit the Laitumkhrah Cathedral to witness beautiful Christmas wonderland with light installations and concerts. The exhibits are accessible to the public until 26 December.
Christmas In Chennai
In Chennai, it is a tradition to venture into Christmas excursions organised by several churches. Chennai is habitually hot and humid round the year, so not many tourists visit the city. However, Christmas is during winter, and thus it is understandable that at this time of the year, friends and families from different states and countries meet and often gather out on the streets in Chennai. Adults, families and kids, people from all walk of life gather on Marina Beach on Christmas day.