It’s my favourite time of the year. Christmas is here and it’s full of cheer! Although Christians only make up less than 5% of the Indian population, Christmas is considered a national holiday and is celebrated in a grand way especially in Goa, Kerala, the North-Eastern states and the metro cities. Christmas, in India, is a fusion of Western and Eastern cultures.
A month before Christmas, the shops are filled with Christmas decorations, Christmas trees, Santa Claus costumes etc. Houses, malls and offices would be lit up with lights, stars and a Christmas tree. Since not everyone can afford to have a Christmas tree in their house, some people decorate the mango tree or banana plant outside their houses.
Christmas is also a time when groups of people head out for carol singing in the streets and go from door-to-door, singing till late into the night. Some of the kids have come up with ideas like doing a contemporary dance or the Santa Claus doing a Michael Jackson moonwalk instead of singing, just to get goodies or money from the houses they visit.
It is also a time when the blockbuster movies of the year are shown on TV, so most people end up at home watching these movies on Christmas day.
On the eve of Christmas, the churches organize midnight masses. The churches are beautifully decorated, especially the Portuguese-style churches in Goa. A manger is set up outside the church and the nativity play would be enacted. Carol singing competitions are held, with various churches competing for the title.
What is Christmas without the scrumptious food! The bakeries are lined with plum cakes, cookies, macaroons and also Indian sweets like ladoos and halwa. Plum cake and wine is the perfect combination and most of the Christian households prepare wine at home many days ahead itself, to get the perfect wine on Christmas day. International luxury hotels serve up a vast Christmas buffet with all the favorites: roast meat (including turkey), roast vegetables, and desserts which are to die for.
Christmas is a time of bonding with family and friends, a time to celebrate the goodness of life and be grateful for what we have. Hope you all have a Merry Christmas!
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