Christmas phenomenon has been around for more than two millennia. People around the world have been observing it with traditions like exchanging gifts, attending the mid-night mass on 25th December, decorating the Christmas tree, leavingout the chocolate cookies and milk for Santa and last but not the least listening to Uncle John talk about his hernia removal surgery while you are trying to enjoy yourChristmas cake!
Christians celebrate, Christmas Day as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus, a piousleading light whose teachings form the basis of the Christian religion. In India, the colonization of British till 1947 lead to percolation of this religion and its teachings amongst certain sect of Indians. Christianity in India is a minority and around 3% of its population observe Christmas. Christmas in India is also known as “bada-din” (the big day).
Christians in India decorate pine or banana or mango trees (this varies from region to region) during Christmas. They also light small oil lamps as decorations and fill their churches with red flowers. They give presents to family members and baksheesh, or charity, to the poor people. In India, the poinsettia is in bloom and so the churches are decorated with this brilliant red flower for the Christmas Midnight Mass. In South India, Christians put small clay lamps on the rooftops and walls of their houses.
At home families prepare cakes and cookies and traditional regional sweets. The Midnight Mass precedes the Christmas day when the church resounds with the joyful singing of Christmas carols and thanksgiving. The Christmas dinner is an important affair, where the whole family sits down together for athanksgiving meal, which includes Christmas Cake, Christmas Pudding and Roast Chicken or Turkey with all its traditional trimmings and numerous other dishes.
Feasting and merrymaking takes precedence during Christmas. Though each region has its specialties, it is an exciting opportunity to explore the newer possibilities of a sumptuous array of X’mas goodies this Christmas. Prepare these yummy treats suggested and do not forget to share it with your family and the much-loved Uncle John!