India Christmas Day Holiday
Celebrated on 25th December, Christmas Day is one of the most sparkling Christian public holidays in India. It is a public holiday which commemorates the birthday of Jesus Christ.
Being a secular nation, India serves as a home to all religions, and Christianity is a crucial part of this diverse cultured country. Throughout the nation, all Catholics and Non-Catholics celebrate Christmas Day with great enthusiasm.
Christmas is immensely celebrated across the country but profoundly in the Northeastern and Southern parts. Indians celebrate this day in their own beautiful ways, and the traditions generally change in every region.
About Christmas Day
Christianity came to India as early as 52 A.D. when St. Thomas had been martyred in the subcontinent’s southern parts. However, Christmas likely came when European colonists and missionaries arrived in the 1500s. The religion spread more when the Portuguese came to India in the 16th century.
Most Christians reside in the states of Tamil Nadu, Arunachal Pradesh, Kerala, Nagaland, Goa, and many more. There are about 24 million Christians celebrating Christmas Day in the country. Like in other parts of the world, Indians celebrate the festival by decorating trees, making special food, etc.
A national holiday is observed on 25th December every year and Christians celebrate the birth of the saviour Jesus Christ. Getting a Christmas Tree, hanging stockings, decorating it, and exchanging gifts with each other are some of the Christmas day traditions.
Moreover, this day holds great cultural significance as it is celebrated uniquely in every Indian state. Goa is well-known to be the best place to be on Christmas Day. Some Goa families will have already started preparations for the festival in November. This holiday serves as the best day for connecting the Christians and non-Christians in India. It is beautiful to see how they celebrate Christmas Day together.
How is Christmas Day in India Celebrated?
In a diverse cultured nation like India, traditions and festival customs keep on changing constantly. Several festivities are common, and some are different for all sects of Christianity in India.
- Christmas services: All Christians in India attend the Christmas mass in their colonies. To the Roman Catholics, the mid-night mass serves as great significance. They celebrate the day by worshipping the Lord and singing Carols. Some children form choirs and visit several households and bless their house by singing chants.
- Decorating Christmas Tree: The main activity on Christmas Eve is decorating a tree. People can decorate whichever tree they want with flowers, lights, small gifts, socks, etc.
- Fasting: In the Southern parts of India like Kerala, many people observe a fast from the December starting Christmas Day.
- Snacks and sweets: No festival in India is complete without special snacks and sweets. Some people make ghujias for Christmas Day; some make rose cookies and many more. People across the country make different food items to celebrate Christmas Eve.
- Gifts: Giving gifts to family and close friends is another tradition followed by people in India at Christmas. Many parents dress up as Santa Claus for their children and distribute gifts.
What to Do During Christmas Day in India?
Many people use paper lanterns and small electric lamps for decoration inside and outside of the home. Even churches put lamps on tables to get into the holiday spirit. Some people begin planning to set up a nativity scene or Christmas cribs early. It is a day for people to reunite with friends and family, and many also prefer to go shopping to buy a new holiday outfit. One of the best ways to get into the holiday spirit is to buy or bake a traditional Christmas fruit cake.
From the day of Christmas, the party begins in India’s big cities and ends after the New Year celebration. People across the world visiting India to celebrate Christmas Day must stay for the New Year festivity. Attending a Christmas celebration either in Kerala or church in Goa is a great experience that one should not miss out on.