Traditions without turkey?

Mercy Johny, II Year B.A. English.

Seeing the colours red, white and green everywhere? ‘Tis the season to be jolly as wreaths, Santa hats and paper stars line the streets throughout the month of December. Christmas is when everyone comes together to celebrate the festive season and forget their worries, especially the ones who now have an excuse to satisfy their cravings for a feast. Filling the air with sounds of laughter, happy chatter and the clinking of glasses, it’s evident that as the years pass, some traditions of Christmas have remained the same, while some differ as well.

In Goa, people gather together for the midnight mass in their Portuguese churches after which they spread the Christmas cheer with music, great food and parties with friends and family, and this procedure is deemed to be a necessity for nearly every household in the area. Most states in the north, although having a smaller population of Christians, still sees people of all religions to gather and make merry during this festival.

In Kerala and Tamil Nadu, however, the inclination is towards a peaceful, family-oriented affair. After the mass, they hurriedly return home to savour the delectable spread of food waiting back home because, after all, when would the occasion to feast on fried chicken, mutton biryani, rich plum cakes, turkey and kappa biryani arise again?

The gothic churches in Pondicherry are a great attraction, while Manali brings many tourists during this month as the only opportunity to witness snow in India is likely to happen on these ‘very rare’ occasions.

Several people go to different places, visit beaches, hit the stores and celebrate the festival by simply satisfying their wanderlust and entertain their cravings for clothes, gadgets and make the most of the seasonal offers. Malls are decked with props and decorated trees touching the ceiling while selfies are clicked against the background of white snowflakes and Christmas trees, all with the help of some thermocol, of course.

While Christmas is becoming a commercialised holiday with restaurants and stores offering discounts and menus consisting of the most delicious dishes and there are several people who still take delight in sending handmade cards, rich plum cakes soaked in rum and home made wine to their neighbours and friends.

After the first few weeks of decorations and festivity, everyone gets together on the 25th for a feast, and exchange gifts – their very own version of the infamous Chrismom-Chrischild game. And of course, the day is incomplete without Christmas carols and Santa’s visit on this day, adding to the enraptured faces of youngsters and adults alike. Charitable activities and donations are yet a few other commitments made on this day to bring the brightest smiles on the faces of those who are lesser privileged.

Needless to say, every person has their own way of celebrating Christmas – be it shopping, partying, or a peaceful day with close ones, but this day satisfies not only the ones eyeing the scrumptious food during their prayers, but those who wish to escape from their monotonous routines as well.  Regardless of the variations in cultures, and procedures, what stays the same, and will forever remain so throughout the ages, added to the millions of cakes that are eventually consumed by the people during this season, will always be a dash of happiness, lots of laughter and heaps of love.

[Photo Credits: Indian Express]


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