Merry Christmas and A happy New Year!

Merry XMas wishes




Christmas is an occasion when people share their happiness and spread joy all around. It is the time to reflect back on year that went by and remember all those occasions that one enjoyed. The spirit of Christmas makes us all feel how blessed we are and thus celebrate it with a joyful mood forgetting and forgiving all the past differences.

Christian community in India which is around 3% of the total billion plus population at around 30-40 million who adopted Christian faith when St. Thomas came to India in 52 AD. He baptized several people who are today known as  Saint Thomas Christians  or Nasranis.

Christians in India celebrate Christmas in a different way. Instead of having traditional  Christmas Trees, a banana or mango tree is decorated (or whatever tree people can find to decorate!). Sometimes people use mango leaves to decorate their homes.

In Southern India, Christians often put small oil burning clay lamps on the flat roofs of their homes to show their neighbours that Jesus is the light of the world.

Christians in Goa to celebrate Christmas with favourite sweets that include neureos (small pastries which are stuffed with dry fruit and coconut and fried) and dodol (like toffee that has coconut and cashew in it). There are other sweets which are often part of ‘consuada’ when people make sweets before Christmas and give them to their friends and neighbours. Most Christian families also have a  nativity  scene with clay figures in it. On Christmas Eve Christians in Goa hang out giant paper lanterns, in the shape of stars, between the houses so that the stars float above you as one walks down the road. The main Christmas meal is also eaten on Christmas Eve and is also ‘western’ with roast turkey or chicken being popular. After the meal, Christians head to Church for a Midnight mass service. After the service the church bells ring to announce that Christmas Day has arrived. Many Christians in Goa also celebrate  Epiphany  and remember the Wise Men visiting Jesus.

Christians in Mumbai use many Christmas traditions from Goa including the star lanterns and manger scenes (people like to make sure they have the best the nativity scene!).

In north-west India, the tribal Christians of the Bhil folk, go out night after night for a week at Christmas to sing their own  carols  the whole night through. They go to surrounding villages singing to people and telling the Christmas story.

In South West India, in the state of Kerala Were, 22% of the state’s 33 Million population are Christians and Christmas is important festival. Traditional Catholics fast and do not eat from 1st to 24th of December – until the midnight service. Every house is decorated with a Christmas star. People also make cribs in their homes and Churches for baby Jesus.

In India,  Father Christmas or Santa Claus  delivers presents to children from a horse and cart. He’s known as ‘Christmas Baba’ in Hindi, ‘Baba Christmas’ in Urdu (both of those mean Father Christmas); ‘Christmas Thaathaa’ in Tamil and ‘Christmas Thatha’ in Telugu (both of those mean Christmas old man); and ‘Natal Bua’ (Christmas Elder Man) in Marathi. In Kerla Were state, he’s known as ‘Christmas Papa’.

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