Christians across the globe are celebrating Christmas today. Interestingly, in India, like most other festivals, celebrating it is not restricted to one community alone.
Indians mark the birth of Jesus with a national holiday and people from various communities come together to celebrate it. Churches are decked-up with beautiful lights, various malls and hotels display glamorously decorated X-mas trees, and everyone joins in the celebrations with gusto.
Beyond the barriers of religion
The festive cheer that Christmas brings in goes beyond any religion. Everyone celebrates Christmas with a hearty lunch and trees at their home with their family and friends. Our very own Hyderabad Runner’s group too celebrated it in our own way by running on Sunday dressed in red and white with a Santa cap. After the run we even cut a small Christmas cake and shared amongst the runners. People who saw us dressed in our attire waved at us and encouraged us too.
— Dr Chandrashekar Ramineni, orthopaedist
Of fun, food and family
I think Christmas is all about fun, food, family and friends. And everyone wants to be a part of the celebrations; it’s like a big party. When I was in Mumbai, I used to go to Mount Mary Church every Christmas. The place was decked-up — not just the church, but even the roads. It used to be so full of people. This year I plan to host a Christmas party for my friends, so I am really excited.
— Lavanya Tripathi, actress
‘I used to play Mother Mary’
Right from school days, excitement was always a part of Christmas celebrations. I used to play Mother Mary in school. Given all that I would hear from school, I would expect a similar celebration at home too. So we would have a bonfire on Christmas Eve and then celebrate by getting a cake. My mother would play Secret Santa! She would ask us a few days earlier on what we prayed to Santa to get us on Christmas. I would always ask for a doll and my little brother would want a big gun and chocolates. In the morning, we would be thrilled to receive what we had wished for. Although I have been to the US several times, I have not witnessed a white Christmas. So I am currently in New York precisely to witness it. Now I am my own Santa to fulfill my desires to pamper myself with Christmas gifts.
— Mehreen Kaur Pirzada, actress
It’s a merry time
In what has become a ritual that every year, I bake about 40 kg of rum cake at home for my friends and patients. Not only that, I prepare wine too, at home. The most fun part is not the celebration on Xmas on that day, but the entire preparation time. These days festivals have gone past the religion boundary making it a merrier festivity.
— Dr Suma Liz Panicker. dental surgeon
Relaxing with Loved Ones
I have grown up reading books about Christmas and its festivities, like Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. So, as a kid I used to be fascinated with X-mas celebrations. After my son was born we started celebrating Christmas each year. People spend time with their families, decorating the X-mas trees and dressing-up their houses. It’s just one more reason to sit down and relax with your loved ones.
— Anita Nair, award-winning author...