Christmas is a festival that is celebrated across the world with absolute enthusiasm despite the variations across different nations. Although Christianity is a minority in India, Christmas is still observed as a state holiday in the country. Mumbai contains the largest Indian Christian Communities, most of which are Roman Catholics. Even in the smallest state, Goa , which is on the west of India, about 26% of people are Christians. It’s believed that many Christians of Mumbai have roots in Goa. The states of Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Manipur lying on the east of India, have high populations of Christians as well.
Churches in India are decorated with Poinsettia flowers and candles for the Christmas Eve Midnight Mass service which is an integral service for Christians of the country. A banana or mango tree is decorated in houses, at times, instead of the traditional Christmas Trees. Sometimes people also use mango leaves to decorate their homes and workplaces in the southern part of the country. They often put small oil burning clay lamps on the flat roofs of their homes demonstrating that Jesus is the light of the world. Whereas Goa has a westernised way of celebration where people go around singing carols in the neighborhood for a week before Christmas and enjoy the main Christmas meal of roasted turkey or chicken along with the quite popular fruit rum cake.
With difference in cultures, there’s a difference in the way people exchange wishes in different languages spoken in the country. Christmas is also known as “Badaa Din” (Big Day) in North and North-West India. Whether it’s a missionary school or a regular non traditional institution, children belonging to all religions participate actively in the various activities/programs. Father Christmas or Santa Claus is believed to be the giver of presents to children from a horse and cart.
Despite of variations in the style of celebration, the country comes together to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
We wish you a Merry Christmas!