Christmas in India
Christmas Eve, also known as the Wake of Christmas, is regarded as the conclusion of the Advent season. Christmas Eve is the day earlier Christmas Day and is organized with honoring Jesus Christ’s birth, although his actual birth date has been contradicted among many scholars. Nevertheless, many Christmas customs that are around today have their origins in pagan wintertime festivals. These involve the importance of candles and decorations made from evergreen bushes and trees, signifying everlasting light and life.
In Roman times, a mid-winter festival was carried. This is a relaxing time with some parties and merry composition. It was also customary to give other people modest gifts, such as dolls for kids and candles for grown-ups. This festival crowned with the celebration of the winter solstice, which fell on December 25 in the Roman calendar.
Christmas in India, celebrations festival begins on the eve of Christmas i.e. 24th of December and continues through New Year’s Day. Christmas Day called ‘Big Day’ (Bada Din) in Hindi is a national holiday in India. People from all religions join their Christian friends to make the most of the joyous celebrations. Mainly, Christians across the country celebrate Christmas Day by participating in special masses organized in churches.
Universally known, the customs of Christmas came from the traditional celebration of the birth of Christ and it is celebrated as a universal festival throughout the nation. The first mention of 25th December as the birth date of Jesus occurred in 336 A.D. in an ancient Roman calendar. That day onwards this time is honored as the birth date of Jesus. Later on, it combined with the harvest and winter solstice festivals in ancient Rome. In India, this festival has a particular importance since India is known for its unity in diversity worldwide.
Although Christmas Day 2016 has pure motives in cultural and religious traditions, it has long been celebrated in a secular manner as well. Favorite modern traditions of Christmas Day 2016 include giving a gift, Christmas music, completing an Advent wreath, an exchange of Christmas cards, a special meal, church services, and the display of various Christmas decorations, including Christmas trees, nativity scenes, Christmas lights, wreaths, garlands, and mistletoe.
Also, several closely related and often interchangeable figures, known as Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Christ-kind and Saint Nicholas, are associated with paying gifts to children during the Christmas season and have their variety of traditions and customs. Since gift-giving and several other aspects of the Christmas Festival involve favorite economic activity, the celebration has become a significant event and a major sales period for businesses and retailers.
Christmas in India, provided you visit those regions where Christmas is celebrated, will allow you to see how Christmas is kept in a land where Christians are a minority. You will also see how the traditions brought in by Europeans have been sometimes modified and sometimes left unchanged. The food and festivities will be both enjoyable and educational.