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How To Celebrate Christmas in India

By Sheetal B. Updated: January 20, 2017
How To Celebrate Christmas in India
Image: en.wikimedia.org

Christmas marks the birth celebration of Lord Jesus Christ and is celebrated across the world including in India. Christmas is a national holiday in India, and the biggest festival for the Christian community. In countries across Europe and North America, Christmas is a major holiday season and many people plan vacations around Christmas, however Christmas in India it is just a one day holiday, though schools have a short vacation around this time. Christmas Day (25th December) is also referred as "Bada din" or "Big Day" in the local Indian language of Hindi. If you're in the country for the festive season, at OneHowTo we'd like to show you how to celebrate Christmas in India.

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Where is Christmas Celebrated in India

Major metropolitan cities in India and smaller cities and towns with Christian influence, especially in the North East, South and Goa all publicly celebrate Christmas. There is participation by other communities as well. The festivities last from before christmas until New Year, with homes, churches and streets all brightly lit up and decorated during the Christmas period. There are many churches in India that were built during the British colonial period and some before that; thanks to Portuguese who landed in the western coast in the 16th century and brought Christianity along with them.

Witnessing Christmas celebration in India is an exhilarating experience because of the grandeur and traditions involved. Midnight masses are held all around, carols are sung, Christmas trees decorated, cakes are baked and candles light up homes everywhere.

How To Celebrate Christmas in India - Where is Christmas Celebrated in India
Image: en.wikimedia.org

Festivities And Activities During Christmas in India

At homes, offices, shopping malls and churches, people decorate Christmas trees with stars, bells, lights, gift replicas and other attractive materials. Buying gifts for family members, relatives and friends is an integral part of the festival. Children are particularly awed by the lore of Santa Claus bringing them gifts at midnight and placing them secretly in stockings that are hung on the Christmas trees.

Cribs are made both at Churches and homes depicting the nativity scene of the birth of Jesus Christ. Competitions are also held between churches for the best decorations, as a part of the many events during Christmas. Christmas heralds celebrations in establishments like old age homes, orphanages and homes for destitute like centers of The Missionaries of Charity.

How To Celebrate Christmas in India - Festivities And Activities During Christmas in India
Image: en.wikimedia.org

Traditional Christmas Foods in India

Feasting on cakes, cookies, puddings and planning family get-togethers for a huge family lunch allows some family bonding time; usually overlooked in busy everyday lives. The variety of homemade goodies is believed to have originated from Goa influencing other states. The mainly Portuguese roots of Goa blend with Indian style cooking to produce some exotic and peculiar dishes:

  • Pork Vindaloo
  • Bebinca
  • Choris Pao
  • Chakli
  • The Catholic Kuswar, which is a dish full of sweets including Kidiyo, Neurero and Doce, which is especially popular in Goa and Mangalore.

When you celebrate Christmas in India, be ready for a vibrant, colorful and interesting blend of cultures. The unique cultural juxtaposition of traditions makes Christmas a very different and exciting experience in the Indian sub-continent.

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Christmas around the world

Now that you know how to celebrate Christmas in India, at OneHowTo we'd like to show you how Christmas is celebrated around the world:

If you want to read similar articles to How To Celebrate Christmas in India, we recommend you visit our Festivities & Celebrations category.

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How To Celebrate Christmas in India
Image: en.wikimedia.org
Image: en.wikimedia.org
Image: en.wikimedia.org
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