A festival that is celebrated by over a billion people worldwide, Christmas is one of the biggest festivals celebrated around the world on 25th of December every year. A festival that celebrates the life, sacrifices and teaching of Jesus Christ, Christmas is as much about Santa Claus, lights, decorations, Christmas trees as it is about Jesus Christ. Christmas In India is celebrated with equal zest and fervor as in other parts of the world yet has given it its own flavor. Below we explore some of the best places to celebrate Christmas in India.
1. Celebrating Christmas in Goa
Known for its excellent beaches and legendary nightlife, perhaps Goa is the best place to celebrate Christmas in India. With its Portuguese legacy and Catholic population Christmas here is celebrated with a gripping fervor. The churches and homes are decorated with beautiful lights and poinsettia flowers while children sing Christmas carol late into the night. People of all ages line up at the churches to take part in midnight mass. The Christmas in Goa is very famous which also attracts thousands of tourists from different part of the country and abroad to its shore who come to witness this festival in all its colors.
2. Christmas in Shillong
This amazing north-eastern city in Meghalaya has a considerable population of Christians who celebrate the birth anniversary of Christ with some pomp and glory, which makes it a picturesque place to celebrate Christmas in north-east India. The streets, the churches and the homes are decorated with beautiful lights and one can easily feel the excitement in the air.
The midnight mass sees huge crowds pour in to the churches of the city with bands playing soulful gospel music. The beauty of the region, its food and the general excitement for Christmas makes being here a memorable experience.
3. Pondicherry Christmas celebrations
Is a fascinating little union territory just off the Tamil Nadu coast. The “Little France” as it is known in those parts of the country is gifted with some wonderful architecture, beautiful beaches and delightful French cuisine. Having a French lineage there are a lots of Christians here who celebrate Christmas with great zeal following all the traditional rituals and merry-making.
The churches, especially the Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception and Sacred Heart of Jesus are stunningly decorated and they are some of most beautifully decorated churches during Christmas celebration in India, offering midnight mass which sees the whole town gather at these churches. Celebrating Christmas here is a great choice as one can relax at the beach, enjoy the stunning marine life and experience the festivities at their best.
4. Kerala: Christmas in God’s Own Country
One can have a complete experience while having a holiday in Kerala during Christmas. The state has a very strong Christian population with countless churches across the state. The famous holiday is celebrated with great vigor across the state as people decorate their houses, the churches and the street with lightings and other materials.
The churches whether big or small remain open throughout the night and thousands of people gather at churches across the state to sing midnight mass. Besides being part of the festivities one can do so much from visiting the backwaters of Kerala to its lovely beaches, from shopping for spices to exploring the Western Ghats. It’s truly the best time to visit Kerala.
5. Mumbai: Christmas in the Metropolis
Mumbai is synonymous with a fast-paced life yet the city, which has a rich colonial past and has been the receiving point of many immigrants, is pretty famous for its Christmas celebration in India. The western suburb of Bandra is a place to see in Mumbai during Christmas.
It is known for its Catholic population and the Hill Road is stunningly decorated with flowers and lighting during the Christmas time. One can also spot decorated Christmas trees on the pavement of the Hill Road which the local families put up in spirit of the festival. The churches in the city are also beautifully lit up and decorated with people from all religious backgrounds seen enjoying with their friends and family.
6. Celebratng Christmas in Kolkata
A colonial stronghold back in the day, Kolkata has a very strange relationship with Christmas. Even though there aren’t many Christians in the city leaving out the Anglo-Indian community, Kolkata is a place in India where Christmas celebration is like its own festival. The churches are decorated, the streets are lit up and people of all ages go out for shopping. For many though Christmas means the delicious cakes and the bakeries in town are usually overflowing with customers during Christmas.
7. Bangalore Christmas Celebrations
Bangalore has a rich cultural past and an alluring Christian legacy. It has numerous beautiful churches, especially in the central part of the town. Many of them, built by Europeans, have British or French influences and their own unique traditions for Christmas celebration in India. The prominent ones are St Patrick’s Church on Brigade Road and The All Saints Church on Hosur. Come December and the town is decked up in festivities.
Famous for it culinary delights, the city is spoilt of choices. One can head to Koshy’s for their plum cake, smileys and ginger tea, Thomsons Bakery, an old timer’s favorite, Caperberry for a delectable four-course turkey dinner just stroll along the famous eateries of MG road. Christmas celebration in Bangalore is a charming experience and is sure to leave you in the most joyous of moods.