Every year Christmas is celebrated worldwide on 25th December to commemorate the birth anniversary of Jesus Christ. This is an auspicious occasion and an important festival for the Christian community. It is celebrated with great pomp and show everywhere, though it differs from people to people in their way of celebration. Christmas conveys the message of love, tolerance and brotherhood amongst people. In India, Christmas is celebrated by all religions and communities.
On the occasion of Christmas, Christians in India decorate banana or mango trees or imitation of traditional pine tree and light up their homes through small clay lamps or candles, just as Hindus do during the celebration of Diwali. Churches across India are decorated with poinsettia flowers and candles for the midnight mass. As part of celebrations, people exchange gifts on this auspicious day and donate generously to charity to give succor to the impoverished. Children eagerly await gifts by Santa Claus in all excitement.
South India has a large population of Christians and hence Christmas is celebrated with great fervor and gaiety. The most visited place during Christmas in India is Goa, where people from across the world come to celebrate the event. In Goa, all hotels are booked during Christmas and one must plan well in advance for staying. Lavish parties and ceremonial programs are organized by the local community to attract tourists. Food plays an important part in the celebrations. During Christmas celebrations, cakes and cookies are the gourmet delights. Christmas carols are sung accompanied by music.
In Christian households, preparations for the eve begin at least a month in advance. People get their homes whitewashed and indulge in spring cleaning of the house to give it a fresh new look. Ladies start preparations for the traditional Christmas cake which is most awaited not just by the entire family but also by the neighbors. Shopping activity takes place as everyone buys new clothes for the festival. Christmas gifts are bought for friends, relatives and kids in the family. Christmas is also the time for family reunions. People staying in different cities wait for the celebrations with their near and dear ones.
Customs and rituals for Christmas celebrations vary regionally. These variations are largely
because of the local cultural influence. In South India namely Tamil Nadu and Kerala for instance, Christians light clay lamps on rooftops and walls of their houses. Midnight mass is an important service for Christians in India. The whole family will walk to the mass and this will be followed by a grand feast of different delicacies (mostly curries) and the giving and receiving of presents.
क्रिसमस की परंपराएं और कैसे मनाते हैं ये हिंदी में पढ़ें, क्लिक करें
To know more about Christmas traditions and rituals click on the following links:
Tradition of Christmas Trees
Tradition of Santa Claus
Tradition of Christmas Carols
Tradition of Christmas Gifts
Tradition of Christmas Stockings
Tradition of Christmas Lights