Despite the fact that Indonesia is primarily a Muslim country, Christmas is celebrated with extreme spirits and enthusiasm. Christians constitute a mere 10% of the entire Indonesian population. But this does not stop them from commemorating this joyous festival. Further, Christmas is a national holiday in this spectacular country. In areas, like central Jaya and Bali, a harmonious blending of local culture and Christmas traditions mark the uniqueness of this festival. This mix of different cultures indicates the honor that is given to both the religions. Unlike most western countries, Indonesia does not experience snowfall during Christmas. People sing carols, offer prayers in churches, exchange gifts and cards, eat delicious meals, and enjoy sparkling fireworks. In Maluku Islands, Christmas is observed astonishingly with markets/malls beautifully decorated, lively crowd present in churches, and performances in dance, plays, and dramas. Flower decoration attracts a number of eye balls here.
The nation's biggest and oldest cathedral in the capital city of Jakarta is situated adjacent to the largest mosque in the country. During Christmas, Muslims offer help to Christians in carrying out the festive celebrations smoothly. Indonesia has been celebrating this festival for hundreds of years now ever since the Dutch and Portuguese conquered this land. During their course of stay, they spread Christianity amongst the locals, especially in the eastern part of Indonesia which includes East Nusa Tenggara, Maluku, North Sulawesi, and Papua. Christmas is celebrated differently in this country. The streets, markets, and malls of the country are decorated with extremely glittering decorations and embellishments, like Santa Claus effigies, Christmas cakes, and other Christmas decorative stuff.
The Santa Claus visits each house in the country and delights children with awesome gifts and chocolates. On Christmas Eve, people pray in churches and celebrate the joyous festival with noisy and bright fireworks. The fireworks are followed by a lip-smacking dinner. The menu generally is not the traditional one. It contains delicious dishes, like brenebon soup, grilled pork, Jagung Bose, and pork satay. The desserts include cakes and cookies. A number of night and beach parties are organized by various hotels, particularly those in Bali and Jakarta, as these cities are major tourist attractions as well. Various Christmas communities in Indonesia come out with special programs to celebrate the feast and distribute adorable gifts to children. The Christmas tree adds to the glitter and joy of Christmas. Schools, colleges, and even offices are decorated with big Christmas trees.
Being a Muslim country, Indonesia celebrates Christmas with great zeal and enthusiasm. Know about Indonesian Christmas celebrations here.