Christmas in India
For most of India, Christmas celebrations can be seen only in major cities and towns, and some villages here and there. Only a few Indian states are predominantly Christian, but in those states Christmas is celebrated from the villages to the cities!
Recently, India has experienced a growth in their Christian community, though the Roman Catholic religion makes up a high percentage of that growth. For the Catholics, there are typically 25 days of lent before Christmas which are broken after the midnight mass on Christmas Eve, when families will enjoy cakes and wine together.
Most of the Christian houses will be decorated with paper stars and will be displaying a crib as well as a Christmas tree, though the Indian Christmas tree is quite different than it’s Western counterparts. Many decorate a banana or mango tree instead of a spruce or fir. In Southern India, Christians often put small oil burning clay lamps on the flat roofs of their homes to show their neighbors that Jesus is the light of the world.
Christmas foods will differ from state to state. In the state of Kerala, a wide variety of spicy non-vegetarian food is served: Duck Roast, Chicken Stew and Appam (a traditional Kerala bread), Beef fry, Pork Roast, and rice.
On Christmas Eve, family members gather together at the ancestral home to start the celebrations by lighting firecrackers. And generally there will be Santa Claus processions visiting each home in the neighborhood throughout the evening giving gifts to the children.
Many thanks to Sunu from ClothedinScarlet.org for her help in researching this post.
- Paper Star Craft Instructions
- Kerala style Duck Roast Recipe
- Appam Bread Recipe
- India map and flag coloring page
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