Christmas is the celebration of Lord Jesus’ birthday on December 25th every year. Though the population of Christians is less than 5% in India, still Christmas is celebrated all over India. With the approaching New Year and Holiday season, it becomes a season of parties and celebration.
The weather in North India during December is very chilling with snowfalls in the mountains, while in South the month of December is very pleasing, a time to celebrate and enjoy the winter vacations to the fullest.
There are many places where you can witness the best Christmas celebration in India. Here we have collected a few popular ones which will help you to decide where to go for Christmas celebration and New Year celebrations.
Goa is the party lovers paradise and a top spot for Indian during the month of December with Christmas and New Year coming. You can attend the Midnight Mass service, enjoy hearty Christmas meal, and decorate a nativity scene.
The Christmas vibe in Goa is wonderful, the street is lit up and market place are fully decorated. In south Goa, Christmas lights adorn the houses and churches and Christmas tree can be seen shining in all houses.
The celebration starts from Christmas Eve and continues even after Christmas till the festive spirit lingers on. The prices during this time will be high as it is the peak of tourist season you can see morning masses, prayers, music, shopping, dance, beach parties and much more.
Baga and Calangute are the most popular beaches of Goa where Christmas is celebrated on a grand scale and will be filled with crazy people enjoying the holiday season. The Basilica of Bom Jesus and the Immaculate Conception Church, are the best places to attend traditional midnight mass where you can sing carols and pray.
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The beauty of Shillong town during Christmas time will amaze you, Christmas carol playing everywhere, with beautiful Christmas trees decorated. Shillong consist of 70% Christians so Christmas is celebrated with great fervor. Preparation starts a week in advance and on Christmas eve Shillong dazzles with its most bright lights at every corner of the city and off-course every house with its Christmas tree.
Christmas is a festival of peace and joy and people here embrace the song of peace and unity. Not to miss the Christmas cake, Christmas Bread and food served here as this day is reserved for families to feast on homemade traditional dishes.
Christmas celebration in “the music capital of India” which Shillong is called is a melodious affair, as people are naturally musical and love singing. You can hear Christmas carols, with various music bands, play gospel music during this time. People come together to sing traditional hymns and carols.
Christmas comes early in Shillong, where traditional local food mixes with Christian carols and fruitcake for a unique holiday celebration since November. Christmas in Shillong means visiting friends and family to exchange greetings and share food, just as it does in many other parts of the world.
Families go to the Cathedral of Mary for the midnight mass, churches are filled with Christmas cheers. Music plays a huge role in tribal people celebration who embrace carol singing. After Christmas is over there is one big community feast ‘Bamkhana’ which is held between December 20 and 30 when local churches organize volunteers to prepare a traditional community meal.
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Puducherry was earlier known as Pondicherry and was dominated by French for 300 years which has left a significant effect on its architecture, culture, cuisines. Even today you can sense the French vibes due to the presence of a French consulate, a French school and the throng of French tourists and ex-pats.
Pondicherry is best to be experienced during Christmas and New Year break, you can attend the Christmas markets, midnight mass, it is like a pilgrimage journey. Visit churches, temples and heritage sites, eat, drink, shop, party and enjoy your holidays to the fullest.
One of the European tradition that Pondicherry follows is the annual Christmas market or the Marche de Noel where Designers, boutique owners, bakers, NGOs, and other local businesses that participate. Mission street is full of lights, Christmas trees, music streaming from small shops and is the merriest place during Christmas.
The midnight masses are held at churches across Pondicherry and should be attended is you like to stay up late. The Church of Our Lady of Lourdes and Church of Our Lady of Good Health are few churches that you should visit in Pondicherry during Christmas.
The joy of Christmas will be doubled if you are traveling to Pondicherry during your winter break as the weather during this time is very pleasant. If you wish to relax and slow down in life than Pondicherry is the best place where you will find meaning and purpose in simple things.
4. Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Andaman and Nicobar Islands is the best place to celebrate Christmas and New Year and it is one of the cleanest and greenest parts of India. Apart from beautiful islands the temperature during Christmas if near 22 degrees Celsius making it perfect for vacations when the north is chilling with cold.
This is the peak tourist season so everything will be costly and you will find many tourists and parties going around in the festive season. Most of the hotel’s host New Year parties, especially Havelock Beach Resort, Symphony Palm Beach resort, Sea Shell Havelock or Barefoot.
If you are wishing for a peaceful and rejuvenating festive vacation than forget the urban trend aside and enjoy the simple pleasures of life that Andaman and Nicobar provide like a walk on the beach, make sandcastles, enjoy candlelight dinners with and of course take a break from the internet.
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Kerala is a place where you can see backwater, lagoons, beaches, hill stations, Spice plantations, jungles, heritage towns, etc but you should also know that Kerala is home to 18.38% Christians, hence Christmas is celebrated in a grand scale.
Kerala was the region which attracted traders for spices and three major religion Judaism, Christianity and Islam was introduced to India through Kerala. No matter what is their main religious belief but the majority of houses are decorated on Christmas.
Onam and Christmas are the two main festivals of Kerala and is also known for some beautiful churches and cathedrals where Christmas carols are sung. It is the time for family reunions, Christmas cakes, lightning, presents, the crib.
The festive starts on Christmas Eve and midnight mass are attended. Christmas is the time of big festive lunch, alcohol and many non-vegetarian dishes. Town and cities of Kerala are beautifully decorated, it is a rare experience which you must not miss if you are on a south India trip.
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