As a secular nation, India houses almost every community. Christmas in India is celebrated not only by the Christian community but, also by other communities as well. It is the biggest Christian festival and is today, regarded as one of the national festivals of India. Christmas is celebrated to honor the birth of Jesus Christ. It is celebrated every year on 25th December and the celebration of the festival continues till New Year. Christmas is celebrated with great enthusiasm, zeal and fervor in the Indian community. The word Christmas comes from the word ‘Cristes maesse’ or ‘Christ’s Mass’ which implies mass on Christ’s day. It is sometimes abbreviated as Xmas, where ‘X’ is used for Christ in Roman. It is also known by the names of Nativity, Incarnation, Yule Tide, Noel and Winter Pascha.
Christmas is celebrated on the birth day of Christ. Christ was born at a time when ignorance, superstition, greed and hatred ruled the earth. It was he who gave spiritual insight into the lives of the masses. The land slowly witnessed a new era under the effect of Christ’s teachings.
In India, Christmas is celebrated with as much enthusiasm as it is celebrated all over the world. The decoration of the various market places, shops, streets and churches start days before the arrival of the main day. On the eve of Christmas i.e. 24th December, people prepare wide variety of dishes, especially sweets and cakes. An important feature of this festival is the exchange of gifts and cards. Christians in India attend the midnight mass in various churches on the eve of Christmas. They dress themselves in their best attire to keep in pace with the festive mood. They pray, light candles and sing carols. Special Christmas programs are organized in churches throughout the country. The churches in India are decorated with Poinsettia flowers and numerous candles are lit.
Christmas celebration in Goa is a spectacular sight. Tourists flock to Goa, to experience the festive mood of Christmas. Christmas carnivals are organized and people engage themselves in music, drinks, dance and merry making. Feasting is also an important aspect of this festival. One of the main attractions of Christmas is the distribution of gifts to the children by none other then Santa Claus. Hence, smile writs large on the faces of the children on this occasion as they eagerly wait for their turn to receive gifts.
Apart from Goa, Christmas is also celebrated with great fervor in Kolkata, Kottayam, Delhi, Sardhana, Martandam, Aizawl, Kohima, Shillong, Panaji and Pondicherry.
Last Updated On: 2011/07/04