PROSPERO ANO Y FELICIDAD!!!
YAY!!The Christmas countdown is officially on! The holiday season is here and everyone is full of good cheer. Christmas is undoubtedly a very special time of year. From the tree, to the gifts, to the time spent with family, it’s a widely anticipated holiday that always seems to go by way TOO FAST. It is an annual festival, as you all know, which commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ.The name ‘Christmas’ comes from the Mass of Christ (or Jesus). A Mass service (which is sometimes called Communion or Eucharist) is where Christians remember that Jesus died for us and then came back to life. So we get the name Christ-Mass, shortened to Christmas.
Compared to other religious festivals, Christmas is quite a small festival in India, due to the number of people who are Christians (about 2.3%) compared to people who belong to other religions.One of the largest Indian Christian Communities in a city is in Mumbai. A lot of the Christians in Mumbai are Roman Catholics. In India’s smallest state, Goa which is on the west of India, about 26% of people are Christians.
Midnight mass is a very important service for Christians in India. The whole family will walk to the mass and this will be followed by a massive feast of different delicacies, (mostly curries) and the giving and receiving of presents. Churches in India are decorated with Poinsettia flowers and candles for the Christmas Eve Midnight Mass service.
Instead of having traditional Christmas trees, a banana or mango tree is decorated (or whatever tree people can find to decorate!). Sometimes people use mango leaves to decorate their homes.
In Southern India, Christians often put small oil burning clay lamps on the flat roofs of their homes to show their neighbors that Jesus is the light of the world.
Christians in Goa love to celebrate Christmas! Goa has lots of ‘western’ customs as part of their Christmas as Goa has historical connections with Portugal. People like to go carol singing around their neighbors for about a week before Christmas. Christmas Trees are also very popular as is a ‘traditional’ rich fruit Christmas cake! Lots of local sweets are also eaten at Christmas in Goa. Favorite sweets include neureos (small pastries which are stuffed with dry fruit and coconut and fried) and dodol (like toffee that has coconut and cashew in it). On Christmas Eve Christians in Goa hang out giant paper lanterns, in the shape of stars, between the houses so that the stars float above you as you walk down the road. The main Christmas meal is also eaten on Christmas Eve. After the meal, Christians head to Church for a Midnight mass service. After the service the church bells ring to announce that Christmas Day has arrived.
Christians in Mumbai use many Christmas traditions from Goa including the star lanterns and manger scenes (people like to make sure they have the best the nativity scene!).
In north-west India, the tribal Christians of the Bhil folk, go out night after night for a week at Christmas to sing their own carols the whole night through. They go to surrounding villages singing to people and telling the Christmas story.
Traditional Catholics fast don’t eat from 1st to 24th of December – until the midnight service. Every house will be decorated with a Christmas star. During the start of the Christmas season, almost all the stationary shops will be filled with new and variety Christmas stars. People make cribs in their homes and Churches.
In India, Christmas father of SANTA CLAUS delivers presents to children from a horse and cart. Each festival or celebration comes with its own unique customs, rituals and culinary delights. It is not an exaggeration to say that every festival is celebrated with equal fervor and exuberance.So let us all enjoy the season with great enthusiasm.Here’s wishing you an advanced Christmas and a Happy New Year! Wishing you lots of love, joy and happiness. May your Christmas sparkle with moments of love, laughter and goodwill, And may the year ahead be full of contentment and joy.I would just say “Believe in the magic of Christmas” and all your worries will be taken away!
To celebrate the heart of Christmas is to forget ourselves in the service of others.
~ Henry C. Link