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Christmas in India is celebrated by the Christian community across the nation with pomp and gaiety.

Christmas in India

Christmas in India is celebrated by the Christian community across the country with pomp and gaiety. A public holiday is declared for Christmas. The festival is officially celebrated by the President of India at Rashtrapati Bhavan. The festival of Christmas has acquired a secular tinge. In several parts of India, it is joyfully celebrated by people of all religions and communities. People from all religions in the country unite with their Christian friends to celebrate the birth of Lord Jesus Christ.

The Ecstasy for Christmas
The celebrations begin a week prior to the festival. The ecstasy for Christmas in India is marked by Christmas carols, cakes, candles and the decoration of Christmas Tree. Special programs are organized by Churches across the country, on Christmas Day, to mark the birth of Jesus Christ. Beautifully decorated Christmas trees, balloons, embellishments, stars, and images of Santa are a common market scene during the festive season. Days before the festival, people get busy in spring-cleaning to make their homes spick and span.

A variety of delicious Christmas cakes are prepared by ladies, which is eagerly awaited by the entire family. Most educational institutions in the country have a mid-academic year vacation which is also termed as Christmas vacation. The vacation begins shortly before Christmas and ends a few days after the New Year's Day. School children actively participate in programs for the celebration of the festival. Christian missionary schools across the country organize plays depicting the birth of Lord Jesus Christ. Christmas celebrations often get mixed with the celebrations to welcome the New Year.

Christmas across the Country
Customs for the celebration of Christmas in India are different for different regions of the country. The rituals for Christmas celebration are in contrast with those followed in South West. For instance, Christians living in South India decorate banana or mango trees instead of the traditional pine tree. People light clay oil-burning lamps on the rooftops of their houses. In many other parts of the country, people decorate the traditional Christmas tree with toys, plastic fruits and balls.

It is an interesting fact that Hindus and Muslims form the majority of India's population and only 3% of the total population of India is actually Christian. Even then, Christmas is celebrated with a large amount of fanfare in the secular nation.