How is Christmas celebrated in India?
In India, many Christians celebrate Jesus Christ's birth on 25 December. Festive celebrations are most noticeable in states where there are many Christians. Christmas Day is a gazetted holiday in India.
Midnight Mass is a very important service for Christians in India, especially Catholics. All the members of the family get together and walk to be part of the mass.
The mass is followed by a feast of different Indian delicacies, (mostly curries) and the giving and receiving of presents. Houses in India are sometimes decorated with mango leaves at Christmas.
In Goa, the main Christmas meal is eaten on Christmas Eve and is also 'western' with roast turkey or chicken being popular.
Churches in India are decorated with Poinsettia flowers, candles and lights for the Christmas Eve Midnight Mass service.
Christians in Mumbai often display a manger in a front window.
Families also hang giant paper lanterns, in the shape of stars, between the houses so that the stars float above you as you walk down the road.
In Southern India, Christians often light small clay oil lamps and place them on the roofs of their homes.
In India, Santa Claus travels in a horse and cart to deliver the presents to the children. He's known as 'Christmas Baba' in Hindi.