Christmas Celebration in India: Do you know what’s the best thing one experiences while growing up in India? Well, it is that all the Festivals we celebrate, we celebrate it with equal dignity despite our religion. Being a multicultural country, the language, skin colour and Religion has never been an issue among the common people (Except our Politicians). Despite this fact, Indians are thought to be Racists (Exceptions are everywhere).
However, all festivals are celebrated with lots of joy and gusto in India and everyone celebrate it with equal respect. You will See Hindus greeting Muslims on Eid, Muslims greeting Hindus on Diwali, Hindus/Muslims greeting Sikhs on Gurupurab and Vica-Versa.
Some of the popular festivals are Diwali, Holi, Eid, Gurupurab and of course Christmas. But there is a fact that India is home to a considerable population of Christians But despite this, Christians celebrate Christmas along with the rest of the country and celebrate Christmas with their own rituals and traditions.
Following are the all details about Christmas Celebration in India:
Churches and their services play a major role in the Christmas celebration in India. Like all other countries, the preparations start on Advent Sunday. Churches start planning their celebrations and masses, and households start planning their food, sweets, and decorations.
Christmas – A Full of Lights Festival
As many other festivals in India, Christmas is also a festival ‘Full of lights’ and local stores, markets, and malls are draped in multi-coloured twinkling fairy lights and flowers. For Indians, festivals are always celebrated with lights and colours, and Christmas is no exception. Churches are decorated using stunning light shows and look spectacular in the night.
Most families put up a Christmas tree. A lot of decorations and ornaments are handmade, and stars are everywhere. Kids, despite of their religion waits for Santa Claus and sleeps with a written gift demand under their pillows.
Christmas Food and Preparations
Christmas cooking and especially are traditionally “kuswar” is the major sweet Indians exchange on the eve. And among others, it ranges from deeply delicious dense Christmas fruitcakes to rose cookies. Making these sweets is a family affair, as all the women in our extended family get together and make them over a weekend or two.
Along with food, the nativity scenes (Christmas cribs) are an important part of Indian Christmas traditions. Kids and parents spent hours planning their Christmas cribs. At midnight on Christmas Eve, people reverently place the baby Jesus statue in the scene.
One of the most enduring Christmas traditions is that of the midnight mass. Churches start their services with carol singing, after which the Christmas mass is held. People, all dressed up in their best finery milled around the church, socialising and wishing everybody Merry Christmas.
After church, people usually went to visit family or friends and shared a piece of rich fruitcake and small glasses of port wine. And after spending some quality time together, people would then head back home, tired but still excited for Christmas day to arrive.
Christmas Morning/Day Celebrations
Usually, people don’t do Christmas presents in India but would wake up to a hot, spicy breakfast, and then we would gather up the boxes of dark fruitcakes and homemade kuswar and head over to all our neighbours’, family, and friends’ homes. It didn’t matter if they were Hindu, Christian, or Muslim — all neighbours got some goodies, and people wish them a Happy Christmas.
In the evening, it was time to head to the Christmas dance with one’s friends. They dance the night away, and when the sun rose on Boxing Day, people discuss sitting together and start planning for the next Christmas.