Sunday, December 9, 2012

Today I learned about Christmas in India

Posted by Dani 4HDAwareness


Continuing the Christmas lessons, today is a day for curry and saris, for we are having a look at the Christmas traditions of India! Hinduism and Islam are the main faiths in India, however there are enough Christians in the country (26 million out of over a billion) that Christmas has found its place there. In the larger cities, carolers walk along the streets, the bazaars are dressed up for Christmas and have special discounts and Father Christmas appears in department stores. 

The way Christmas is celebrated in different ways depending on location. In Southern India, they place small clay oil-burning lamps on the tops of walls or on the edges of flat roofs. In Northwest India, there is a tribe of Christians called the Bhil people. They go out to sing carols and tell the Christmas story to the surrounding villages. 




One of the largest Christian communities in India is in Bombay, with many people there being Roman Catholic. Many families put a nativity scene in their windows, where others in the neighborhood can walk through and admire the lovely scenes their neighbors constructed. They also hang large paper star lanterns, creating a beautifully colored sky. 

Some homes have artificial pine trees while others decorate mango or banana trees instead. The British influence left from before the independence of India, left the idea of gift-giving during the Christmas season. This is why they have Father Christmas. The Christian Indians also practice giving baksheesh to (charitable handouts) to the poor. 

The traditional Indian Christmas dinner is turkey or chicken with curried rice and vegetables. Some houses serve homemade ginger wine with dinner. Each household also makes a generous supply of sweets ready to serve all the visitors who come during the day. The Indians make special red or pink dough pastries called Kulkul, Laado, Chaklyo and Nevryo. 

Now you know the basics of how the Indian people spend their Christmastime. Tomorrow we may actually have a look at Germany. Haha. मेरी क्रिसमस!

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