Traditional Christmas Greeting: "Merry Christmas", "Christmas ke Shubhashai" (Hindi)
Location: Asian Sub Continent
Tree Type: Cultural

Decorations:

  • Two of the garlands are made of colored palm fronds. There is also a garland made of jute rope.
  • The dolls represent various regions of India.
  • The bows are dyed orange.
  • The Christmas trees are covered in green silk, colored stones and gold paint.

Traditions: Though India is not a Christian country, there are Christian communities throughout India. The main concentration is in the southern tip of the country. It is believed that St. Thomas the Apostle brought Christianity to India.

During the weeks before Christmas, children go caroling house to house. On Christmas Eve there is usually a dance for the teenagers held at the local high school or community center. Banana and Mango trees are decorated. In some areas, small clay lamps are placed are placed on the edges of flat roofs and on the top of walls.

On Christmas Eve, Christians go for Christmas shopping and buy new clothes and shoes. It’s a tradition to attend midnight mass with new appearance to bring Christmas spirit in families and communities. Once they reach home, they celebrate Christmas by lighting fire crackers.

On Christmas Day, the family eats breakfast and afterwards the gifts are given out. The rest of Christmas Day is spent visiting family and friends. A homemade ginger wine is served on this day in some families. Special pastries (Kulkul, Laadu, Chaklyo, Nevryo, etc.) are served; these pastries are made by all the family members and are dyed red and pink. The main dish served Christmas Day is a pork dish (Vindaloo). It is served with a rice dish that contains slivered almonds and raisins. This rice is colored with saffron, which turns the rice, a subtle yellow color. A Christmas cake similar to fruitcake is served for dessert. Some families exchange Christmas cake on Christmas day along with Christmas Sweets called “Kuswaar.”