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Christmas is one of the most awaited holidays of the year especially by kids who love to get presents from Santa and sing carols. It is also a long vacation in schools and a few days after Christmas festivities New Year celebrations begin. There is a festive cheer in the air and the vibe is celebratory and spirited. India may not be a catholic nation but it has a fair share of Christians and catholic population who celebrate Christmas with much fanfare. Not just them, people of other religions too take part in the festivities and enjoy to the fullest during this time of the year. However, there are destinations in India where the celebrations are on a higher scale that make them worth a visit during Christmas. If you are wondering where to check out Christmas celebrations in the country, here’s where you should go this year. Also Read - Cyclone Nisarga to Make Landfall Today; Maharashtra, Gujarat on High Alert | Top Developments



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One of the best places to witness Christmas celebrations in the country is definitely Goa where you can take part in the festivities and the general vibe of the state is happy and cheerful. Right from quaint Portuguese villages to the more popular parts of the state, Christmas is one of the biggest celebrations in Goa. The state comes alive during this time and being the peak tourist season, you will find several people from different parts of the world who come here to ring in Xmas and New Year’s. There are over 400 churches in Goa, both big and small and you can begin your celebration by attending a midnight mass in any one of these. You can also go for a Christmas meal in any of the Goan restaurants where you can have a traditional fare. You should also visit the beach in the night to see fireworks. The festivities in Goa begin well in advance with carol singing starting a week to 10 days prior to Christmas. One of the things you shouldn’t miss out are the Christmas desserts in Goa that range from traditional fare of the Bebinca to some delicious rum cakes.

Kottayam

Kerala Elephant Festival

While several parts of Kerala have Christmas celebrations, Kottayam is one of the main regions where you can witness a bigger celebration. Thanks to the Christian population here, Christmas is celebrated on a large scale and you can be a part of it too. Kottayam is not so much of a tourist spot in Kerala and so, the celebrations are not very commercial. If you are looking for something more, you can also visit other parts of Kerala too. Kochi is one of the other places you can visit to spot houses decorated in colorful lights and carol singing competitions. Trivandrum is another place to visit for its Christmas markets and also for the Christmas mass held in churches like St Mary’s Cathedral, St Joseph’s Cathedral. Kollam too is big on Christmas celebrations where it is celebrated in a traditional way with the elders taking the younger ones to the sea. Lake Ashtamudi and churches in the city are known for their festivities. If you prefer hill stations to beaches and coastal regions, visit Wayanad where the cool weather and the greenery will keep you company not to forget the Christmas celebrations by the locals.

Shimla

Shimla snow

If you want to experience a white Christmas in India, Shimla is one place you should visit as there are chances of snowfall during this time of the year. Last year too it snowed in the hill station making for a wonderful Christmas. The Mall Road and Ridge are where all the action is during Christmas time. The roads are lined with restaurants with each one offering a special Christmas dinner during this festive time. A big Christmas tree also stands tall decorated in the main street where you can take photos with it. Christ Church which is 150 years old is where you can go for a midnight mass. The hotels are usually packed and rates are high during the festive season so make sure you book in advance to avoid disappointment. Also, the temperature dips even more if it snows so ensure that you have packed your woollen clothes and winter shoes to brave the climate. It is a magical time in Shimla but be ready to be surrounded by several tourists as many come here to experience a white Christmas in Shimla.

Mumbai

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One of the biggest metros in India, Mumbai has is home to different people of different regions who call the city their home. No wonder, most big festivals are celebrated with much pomp and gaiety in the city. Christmas too is celebrated on a big scale in Mumbai where the celebrations begin much in advance. From elaborate Christmas meals in several top restaurants to events for kids and families, Mumbai is home to a number of things that happen around Christmas time. The city of Mumbai also has many churches where people flock to for midnight mass and greet fellow Christians. Many shopping malls also have huge Christmas trees that are decorated to attract shoppers during this festive time. You will also find several offers for spa treatments, lavish dinner meals and parties. There is also sale on gifting items as the Christmas in Mumbai is highly commercialized. Though the winter in the city isn’t really cold, there is a nip in the air in the evening especially if you head to areas that are close to the sea. Bandra is one of the best areas to witness Christmas celebrations and it has the Mount Mary Church  and other cathedrals as well.

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