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India celebrates Christmas with zeal and enthusiasm
Soaked in festive spirit, people walked out of their homes to celebrate Christmas at Kolkata’s most happening spot Park Street and beyond. (Images by Avishek Mitra/IBNS)

India celebrates Christmas with zeal and enthusiasm

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 25 Dec 2023, 11:22 pm

As the nation illuminates with colourful displays of festivities, Christmas in India presents a captivating blend of traditions, celebrations, and collective joy.

The festive spirit brings together people from different backgrounds and faiths, nurturing a feeling of unity and goodwill.

People enjoy Christmas celebrations with joy and laughter in Kolkata’s Park Street.People enjoy Christmas celebrations with joy and laughter in Kolkata’s Park Street.

On the magical night of Christmas Eve, observed on the 24th of December, a meaningful tradition takes place as people come together to participate in midnight mass at churches.

This sacred and joyful occasion symbolises the anticipation of Christmas, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.

At the same time, the festive atmosphere permeates households, where families unite to engage in a variety of heartwarming traditions.

Let's take a sneak peek into the celebrations in the top four metro cities of India:

Delhi

Capital city Delhi is celebrating the festival with the usual fervour and zeal. The churches and cathedrals of the national capital are witnessing heavy congregations of devotees.

A huge footfall was registered in the Sacred Heart Cathedral near Gol Dak Khana, St Thomas church (Mandir Marg), Free Church (Sansad Marg), Cathedral church (in front of the Rashtrapati Bhawan), St Martin's church (Delhi Cantonment), St Thomas church (R K Puram) and St Mary's Knanaya church (Vasant Kunj).

Malls and parks across the national capital are beautifully decorated to mark the occasion. People have stepped out of their homes to indulge in merry-making and restaurants across the city are witnessing heavy footfall.

Chennai

During the night of December 24th until the early morning of December 25th, special services were conducted in numerous churches in Chennai. Many devotees participated in these services, adorned in new attire, and joyously celebrated Christmas.

To commemorate the birth of baby Jesus in a manger, Christmas huts were set up in numerous Catholic churches throughout Chennai and Tamil Nadu. The churches were adorned with colourful lights. After the conclusion of special services, many people exchanged greetings, handshakes, and expressions of joy.

At the renowned Santhome Church in Chennai, Archbishop George Antonysamy of the Archdiocese of Madras Mylapore presided over the midnight Christmas mass.

Similar midnight Christmas services took place in other significant churches, including the Shrine Velankanni Church in Besant Nagar, Luz Church in Mylapore, Kannikai Annai Alayam in Royapettah, Thiru Iruthaya Andavar Church in Egmore, Punitha Anthoniyar Church in Pudupet, St. Mary's Co-Cathedral Church in Chennai's Parry's, and Lourde Mary Church in Perambur.

Kolkata

Kolkata, known for its passionate Christmas celebrations, came alive on Monday as enthusiastic crowds poured into the city's decked-up sunset boulevard Park Street to soak in the spirit of Yuletide.

Youngsters strummed guitars and jammed with each other as the daylong revelry extended from the city's green urban park Maidan to the happening Park Street and beyond, to the iconic Anglo-Indian neighbourhood Bow Barracks, which is a cluster of red houses in central Kolkata originally built as a garrison mess for the American soldiers during the World War I.

Heritage F&B establishments like Kwality and Trincas have embraced the festive spirit with their unique decorations.

Securing a reservation at any of Park Street's legendary venues during this time of the week is a challenging feat, as Kolkata's beloved food street immerses itself in the season's festivities.

Park Street and the surrounding area with its lights and revelry become a favourite selfie-zone, with stunning stars glittering at the ceiling amid the mesh of lights in myriad colours.

Beautiful lighting, especially the huge LED Santa opposite Allen Park, is a lovely reminder for people to get a gift for their loved ones this Christmas.

People enjoy Christmas celebrations with joy and laughter in Kolkata’s Park Street.People enjoy Christmas celebrations with joy and laughter in Kolkata’s Park Street.

Small booths at Allen Park offer a variety of gift options, including baked goods, decorative candles, baked cookies, and Christmas-themed souvenirs.

Christian devotees attend mass at illuminated churches but the non-Christians also visit them to witness the decorations at these places of worship.

Men dressed as Santa Claus can be spotted at Christmas carnivals in the city.

Mumbai

Christmas celebrations in Mumbai were marked by midnight masses and carol singing on festively adorned streets on Monday.

The city's police implemented extensive security measures near churches to ensure a peaceful environment as both the faithful and revellers joined in the festivities.

Midnight masses were conducted at prominent churches such as Mount Mary Basilica in Bandra, St Michael’s Church in Mahim, St Thomas Cathedral, and St Mary’s Church in Kalina, among others.

Carol singing commenced in Christian neighbourhoods in South Mumbai and the western suburbs of Bandra and Mahim after 10 pm on Sunday.

Carter Road, a famous spot in Mumbai, was embellished with vibrant lights and captivating decorations as a large crowd gathered to witness the festive ambience, welcoming Christmas and the approaching New Year.

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