At the very mention of the word 'holiday', the first thing that prompts our minds is the year-long awaited festive month of December. With the Christmas merriments and the celebrations of a fresh new year in the offing, people look forward to several ways to celebrate. While some celebrate with friends and spend time with their near and dear ones, others prefer to explore new places. Whether one wants to unwind in a Christmas-saturated wonderland or laze on a beach somewhere, Pondicherry has everything going for it. Pondicherry, the French capital of India, is the home of all things zen and cool. There is something about this quaint little town that sets it apart in terms of its cultural appeal. With its deep-rooted ties and shared architectural heritage with the French, Pondicherry attracts visitors from all around the world.
We hope that this helps you plan your Christmas holidays in Pondicherry and make note of the to-do list which you most certainly should not miss when in town.
1. Attend A Midnight Mass
As soon as it turns December, the Christmas songs start getting airtime and celebrations in Pondy kick off with decorated churches blaring out the classic carols. Pondicherry is home to many extravagant churches, a few of which Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges (The Church of Our Lady of Angels), The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Church of the Assumption, The Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, and Church of Our Lady of Good Health, go all out when it comes to the December festivities. Spanning over, near about ten nights, building up to the Christmas Eve, a series of Christmas music concerts take place by the beach, organized by the Singspirations choir. Light up your candles and attend the midnight mass in one of the aforementioned churches for that authentic Christmas feel.
2. Christmas Markets
Christmas in Pondicherry is celebrated with brightly decorated colossal Christmas trees, fairy lights, authentic lantern displays, shops decked up in Christmas decor, music streaming from the little windows and all things Christmassy! Mission Street in Pondicherry comes alive during Christmas and seems like one of the merriest streets in the town during the holidays. One of the age-old traditions that Pondicherry embraces annually is the Christmas Market or the Marche de Noel, thanks to Amicale de Pondicherry. The markets are done up beautifully with Christmas-themed decors, with shops selling plenty of pretty tinsels and stars to pick from.
3. A Culinary Pilgrimage
All along the Christmas time, Pondicherry gets all festive with its hustling and bustling gastro hubs. The eateries come alive with the spirit of Christmas with an infectious atmosphere and delectable food. Sample some sumptuous Christmas meal with dinners and brunches replete with the traditional turkey-eating custom and great wine!
4. For The Beach Bums
Pondicherry is the place for beach bums with their undying love for the sun and the waves. The town hosts some of the best and cleanest beaches in the country, like the Promenade, Paradise, and Serenity Beach. The weather remains temperate making the place warm and sunny during the winter months. Now, if you are willing to ditch the woollen knits and beanies this Christmas and want to laze on a beach with the Christmas celebrations in the background, Pondicherry is just the place to be!
5. Get Touristy
Pondicherry, renowned for its association with Auroville, the experimental township, founded by Mirra Alfassa, the ardent follower of Sri Aurobindo, in the year of 1968, is a major tourist attraction. The Ashram hosts a range of activities, from climbing of trees to tea ceremonies and massages to yoga classes. The shops around the place deal in a wide range of aromatherapy products like fragrant candles, incense sticks, handmade bath soaps and so much more.