Christmas marks the advent of Jesus Christ as a savior of this world from sins. Every year, Christmas is celebrated on December 25 of the Gregorian calendar. In India, Christians celebrate Christmas by wearing new clothes and exchanging pleasantries, sweets and gifts, as well as having an exotic meal and dinner.
Generally, the celebrations start a week before as people decorate their houses with electric lamps, using huge colorful Christmas stars and small clay lamps lit with oil. People hang paper lanterns in star shapes in front of their houses. Pine or conifer trees are decorated with small colorful lights, gifts, and chocolates. In some houses, common Indian trees like banana or mango take a central place instead of Christmas tree. Santa Claus is an important personality of attraction for children in large shops and malls.
The core celebration of Christmas begins with the Christmas Eve, the evening or the entire day before the day of Christmas. Churches in India arrange special sermons for Christmas. The followers of Christianity take part in mass prayers, carol singing, Bible reading, illumination, and special services followed by sumptuous dinner organized in/by church. Indian Churches are decorated with Poinsettia and Roses before the Christmas Eve services. The celebrations begin with Gloria singing and ringing of church bells.
People decorate their houses and Christmas trees, and make cribs with figures of baby Jesus, Mother Mary, Joseph, the three wise men who come to visit the baby and shepherd boys and their herds grazing around depicting the scenes of Jesus Birth in the Bible.
Themes such as Nativity scenes with clay images of characters and surroundings as explained in the Gospels of Mathew and Luke are displayed in the porch. Some of the special delicacies prepared during Christmas are Caramel Cup Chocolates, Peanut Caramel Chocolate Cups, Cherry Cookies, Chocolate Cupcakes, Carrot Cakes, and Christmas Special Wafers.
Carol singing, get-together and the exchanging of gifts enhance the Christmas spirit. Christmas parties launch off celebrations for the New Year, thus retaining the festive mood for at least a week.
On Christmas day, people enjoy a sumptuous Christmas lunch. Christmas cakes and wine are served to visitors and exchanged as gifts among friends and relatives.
Families get together around sparkling Christmas trees from whose branches hang numerous lovely gifts.
When the youngsters receive the gifts and open them, they dance with joy.
Both men and women, young and old take pains in designing the cribs, sheep and shepherds, old Joseph, young Virgin Mary, Child Jesus nestling in his cradle of hay, angels floating in the star-studded sky and the Three Wise Men on the fringe of horizon.
The day is spent in meeting friends and relatives. Delicious dishes of turkey, wine and Christmas cakes are eaten and served to visitors. Greeting cards to wish joy and peace are exchanged.
The night is enlivened with dances, carols and mid-night masses in all the churches. Youngsters dance hilariously on the streets singing carols to the accompaniment of musical instruments.
One of the most popular Christmas Carol sung at the time of Christmas celebrations is Silent Night.
In the West, Christmas is a welcome break to routines and dawn of new beginning, each year. As it is a Holiday season owing to peak winter, the slow-falling snow, the snow-clad Christmas trees, and the dreamy weather add to the beauty of the Christmas celebrations. In countries like India, ever since Christianity stemmed around 52 CE, it has spread far and wide with around 24 million people following this Faith. No wonder, all Indians irrespective of their caste or creed, celebrate Christmas with same fervor and vigor in line with our nation’s belief on secularism and solidarity.
क्रिसमस के जश्न के बारे में हिंदी में पढ़िये, क्लिक करें