The festival of Christmas is a joy like no other. Families come together, smiles echo in through the house overpowering the worries, and it is time to slip in some wine down the throats and eat some delicious cherry plum cake. As the traditions of the festival unravel itself, we could not help but join in along with the celebration and lose ourselves to the joyous moment. That is how contagious the festival of Christmas is. But to experience the best out of the festival, we have to be at the right place. Looking to celebrate Christmas in India? We have exactly got some truly amazing places you could visit to have a wonderful Christmas. Here are some of the best places to celebrate Christmas in India:
1. Goa – For a Portuguese-style Christmas
Goa is a connotation for celebration, especially, when it comes to Christmas. With its sizable Roman Catholic population and not to forget Portuguese legacy, Goa has the impression of celebrating Christmas with immense zeal and pomp and show. The party capital of India becomes livelier during the Advent Season and one can actually feel the much spoken warmth of Christmas. The entire city is decorated with poinsettia flowers and lights. In the midnight, masses sing carols and this goes on till early hours of the morning. Even the beach shacks and restaurants serve Christmas lunches and dinners and have live bands playing. There all night long parties organized on the beaches like Anjuna, Mapusa and Candolim.
2. Shillong – For a Picturesque Christmas
3. Pondicherry – For a French-style Christmas
The French influence in Puducherry has done some good indeed! If you are seeking a zealous Christmas celebration that is peaceful at the same time, then Puducherry is the place for you. Like Goa, Puducherry also have a good population of Roman Catholic population, which means that this Union Territory has also got its own way of celebrating this joyful occasion. During the Christmas season, Puducherry becomes brighter and you can feel the exuberance in the ambiance and you are compelled to be a part of it. The church service on the day of Christmas in Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges (The Church of Our Lady of Angels), The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Church of the Assumption, The Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, and Church of Our Lady of Good Health are quite a sight to witness.
4. Kerala – For a Traditional Christmas
Interested in celebrating a totally traditional Christmas along with your family in India, then head over to Kerala. Even after a huge interference by technology in today’s life, Gods own Country remains unaltered and celebrates the birth of Jesus in a traditionally extravagant manner than being commercial. Home to a strong Christian population and numerous churches, Kerala is an ideal choice for those who seek a cultural Christmas celebrations and experience alongside deep-rooted Christians. As the days get closer to Christmas, you can feel the atmosphere change with the air of festivity and the presence of captivating houses that glow with twinkling stars and cribs.
5. Daman and Diu – For a Coastal-style Christmas
Thanks to the Portuguese connection that this Union Territory in India has a charming way of celebrating Christmas. Situated off the coast of Gujarat, the otherwise quiet Daman and Diu becomes lively and bright during the Christmas season. Several cultural shows are organized here; one can even see Portuguese dance form like Corrindinho here. The vibrant lamps brighten the night sky making these places phenomenal during the festive season. One may also like to attend the mass in churches like Saint Paul’s Church, Se Cathedral and Church of Our Lady of Rosary.
6. Mumbai – For a Metropolitan-style Christmas
Mumbai is yet another place in India, where the warmth of Christmas can be greatly felt. The bakeries are replete with season’s best desserts and the shopping falls are decorated in a way to give festive feel. The western suburb of Bandra is the specific area where the spirit of Christmas can be felt the most, this area is mostly inhabited by Catholics and thus one can see the houses and streets decorated with lights and Christmas trees. Also, there are many churches in Mumbai such as Holy Name Cathedral, Saint Thomas’s Cathedral, Gloria Church, Saint Michael’s Church, Mount Mary’s Basilica, Saint Peter’s Church, Saint Andrew’s Church and Lady of Immaculate Conception, where you can attend lively midnight mass. Since, Mumbai is a excellent place to party, you can expect lot of Christmas eve parties here as well.
Manali in December?! You must be thinking, there is something wrong with the list. No there is nothing wrong with the list. With almost the entire town getting covered in snow during the month of December, what’s a better place to celebrate a fairytale style Christmas than Manali? Adorned by pine trees that are decorated with colorful lights and hanging gifts, Christmas in Manali looks like a dream come true. And when it comes to choosing your hotels, choose the ones that come with traditional Kullu dance performances, play Himachali style music, and allows food to be served by waiters dressed as Santa Claus. And one more thing, book the hotels well in advance to save the last minute hassles!
8. Dadra and Nagar Haveli – For a Tribal style Christmas
Dadra Nagar and Haveli are some of lesser spoken about destinations, however, they have great potentials to become popular tourist places in India. Ideally, December is the best time to see this Union Territory as one can witness the grand celebration here. Christmas is celebrated in a traditional way and has a tribal touch, which is quite interesting to see. There are some beautiful churches in Dadra Nagar and Haveli and on the occasion of Christmas, they are decorated magnificently. One can attend mass service in one of the Churches that are full of festive spirit. Apart from this, Dadra Nagar and Haveli have some exotic beaches, where you and your loved ones can spend some quality time on Christmas.
9. Kolkata – For an Upbeat Christmas
Christmas celebration in Kolkata goes back to the time when the British ruled over India. Yes, that is how strong Kolkata has its ties with Christmas and it is quite evident from the way the localities embrace the festival with love and affection. Particularly visit the Park Street in Kolkata where the festive mood will be at an all-time high and the atmosphere is just contagious. As you walk down the Park Street that is filled with brightly lit Christmas shops, and eateries you will feel the aroma of the cakes and other confectionaries seducing you with their scent and pulling you closer. Just grab a quick bite and be sure to be on time for the mass.
10. Bangalore – For a Delicious Christmas
Christmas is celebrated with exuberant spirit in Bangalore. The entire city gets decked up during the advent season and places like malls, markets and restaurant start to offer discounts and special menus respectively. The areas predominant by Christians are tastefully decorated. A large number of events are organized in the city in order to make Christmas more fascinating and fun. At the churches such as St. Mary’s Basilica, Christian Fellowship Church and City Harvest AG Church one may also like to attend the midnight mass.