India is one of the largest countries in Asia and the majority of the people are Hindu. Although Christians are a minority, Christmas is celebrated royally because of India being a former British colony. There is usually a Christmas festival during the Christmas season. When the festival in underway, any store that has Christmas decorations is always crowded. Everyone goes to the Christmas Festival.
There are several things that make Christmas celebrations in India very unique, namely:
- Christmas Tree
Instead of a fir or spruce tree, Indians use mango and banana trees as Christmas trees.
- Pronunciation of Christmas Greetings
In India, because there are so many different languages, Christmas greetings are said differently, depending on where a person lives and what language he speaks.
Christmas is also a moment awaited by children, because they usually perform a drama that tells the story of the birth and life of Jesus Christ. In northern India, Christians celebrate Christmas by visiting relatives and singing Christmas songs. Meanwhile, in southern India, Christians light an oil lamp and put it on the roof of the house as a symbol that Jesus has come as the light the world. If you visit Mumbai at Christmas time, you can see lots of houses decorated for Christmas. Mumbai also has a unique tradition, that if you visit a home that celebrates Christmas, you will be given special candy from Mumbai.
The presence of the Santa Claus, or Christmas Thatha or Christmas Baba (Christmas Grandpa), is highly anticipated by most children in India, because Santa gives gifts to children in the shopping malls and stores.
Christmas worship, or Christmas Mass, is an important thing to do for Christmas. Usually, Indians have a Christmas worship service on December 24th. After this, they have a party with typical Indian food. Some typical food usually served at Christmas is:
Biryani is a typical Indian dish made from rice and cooked with spices, vegetables, and meat.
Kheer is a typical Indian rice pudding made of rice, flour, sugar and milk. Then, it’s flavored with cardamom, raisins, saffron, cashew nuts, pistachios or almonds.
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