HO! HO! HO! Have you been good all year, because it’s that time of the year when Santa Claus comes to the town!! Yes, we realize that India does not celebrate Christmas like the Wild West does, however, we do have our own style of celebrating and we truly love it as we celebrate the spirit of Christmas that proffers forgiveness, love, grace and most importantly the act of sharing. Infact in several parts of the country, Christmas is celebrated with pomp and show, zeal and enthusiasm, also the different customs and traditions add an interesting flavor to the celebration of this festival in India. So what have we done for you this time is we've discovered 10 most beautiful places in India that turn into a fairy tale and best to create Christmas Memories.
Goa is a connotation for celebration, especially, when it comes to Christmas. With its sizeable 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 the 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 beaches like Anjuna, Mapusa, and Candolim.
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Know to have a major number of beautiful churches one can't go wrong when it's celebrating Christmas in God's Own Country! Each street is decorated and the churches remain open almost all night. The restaurants offer heavy discounts on food and drink. There is a local touch to this high spirit festival and it is something that you need to witness rather than be told about. Adding to the joy are gorgeous beaches and serene backwaters, where you surely want to spend some time.
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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 the 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.
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Satiate your wanderlust in the same way Goa does at these best places to visit in Pondicherry
4. Daman and Diu
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.
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A beautiful Christmas celebration waits at Shillong for you. Since not many people visit Shillong during winter, you have the chance to celebrate a peaceful yet joyous Christmas here. There is a sizable population of Christians here, thus Christmas is celebrated here with much zeal and enthusiasm. The streets, houses, and churches are decorated with shimmering lights, people prepare traditional cuisine and spend time singing carols and hymns in the evening. Few churches also have local bands playing gospel music.
Are you dreaming of a white Christmas in India? If yes, Manali can be the right place for you. This popular Himachal’s destination is perfect for those who want to celebrate the Christmas amidst real snow. Mostly it snows during Christmas time in Manali, which gives the tourist the chance to enjoy skiing and making a snowman or simply throwing a snowball at each other. One may also like to live in one of the log huts that definitely enhance the Christmas mood. However, make sure you book hotels in advance as many people during December visit Manali.
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Christmas is celebrated with much vigor and zest in Mumbai, a great place to spend your Christmas holidays. While the malls and markets are all decked up with Christmas trees, arty decorations and lights, they also offer attractive discounts. Among other places, Church Gate, Bandra and Hill Road are brightly lit up with many terrific Christmas trees on the sidewalks.
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Christmas is celebrated with an exuberant spirit in Bangalore. The entire city gets decked up during the advent season and places like malls, markets, and restaurants 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.
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Vivacious Delhi gets yet another reason to party in December. During the Christmas season, Delhi enjoys a feeling of sensation throughout its length and breadth with shopping malls decorated, Christian localities bathed in shimmering lights and clubs and lounges throwing theme parties every now and then. The popularity of this festival can also be proven with the large crowd irrespective of religion in the Sacred Heart Church in Connaught Place in the midnight mass. Even the chilly weather cannot diminish the charm of the warmth of Christmas that this city holds. Delhi is certainly one place in India, where the Christmas celebration is worth witnessing.
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The City of Joy becomes brighter and livelier during the Christmas season. The aroma of fruit cake and pastries fill the air and markets become crowded. Although Christmas is not one of the major celebrations in Kolkata, the city has some affection attached to it. Park Street is one place that makes the festive mood go extravagant. You may find that the apart from Christians, people from other communities offering prayers and singing carols in the midnight mass in the churches. Also, during the festive season, heavy discounts on items in the market can be seen, which keeps the bazaars in Kolkata quite busy. Light and sound exhibition, rock music, shimmering lights, and delectable food makes the ambiance in the city merrier!
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If you're planning a trip in December then do check out our super exhaustive guide to the best places to visit in India in Winter.
Q. Where Not to Celebrate Christmas in India?
A. Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Orissa
Q. What is the literal meaning behind "Merry Christmas"?
A. Merry means cheerful. Christmas' original word and spelling - Cristesmasse - literally means "Christ's Mass." 'Christ' referring to Jesus Christ, and 'Mass' meaning ... well, 'mass.' As in the source or central act of worship in Christian life. Merry Christmas is wishing the recipient of the sentiment a joyful celebration of the Mass of Christ.