Everything You Need To Know About The Festive Christmas Celebration In Kerala
Christmas begins in December. With so much joy in the air, it calls for getting everyone together to eat delectable Christmas feasts, singing carols, and giving gifts to all of your close friends and family. Christmas has grown to be a popular cultural holiday across the world, especially in the small, peninsular coast of Kerala.
Kerala is well renowned for incorporating regional customs, which may involve cooking up some exotic treats to make the festivities even more interesting. Christmas preparations start as soon as December officially starts, just like in other Christian nations. People prepare dry fruit cakes that are traded throughout the Christmas season and gather for meals with friends and family. Attending the midnight mass is also an inevitable part of Christmas celebrations. Carol groups vist other people’s homes singing famous Christmas songs, and sending greetings. Specially crafted Christmas stars are hung, Christmas Cribs are put on display and Christmas trees are adorned.
Keralites kickstart the Christmas celebrations in kerala with the making of the Christmas crib that represents the Nativity scene or the Manger scene depicting Mary and Joseph in the stable with the baby Jesus in a manger surrounded by assorted animals, and with the optional extras of the Magi, shepherds, singing angels and other culturally appropriate innovations.
From paper mache stars to electric lit plastic and steel decorations, people hang a variety of Christmas stars in front of their houses to welcome the celebrations. The Christmas star represents the Bethlehem star, which, in accordance with the biblical narrative, led the three kings, or wise men, to the infant Jesus. The star is also the heavenly indication of a long-ago fulfilled prophecy and the glimmering symbol of humanity’s hope.
In Kerala, Christmas is synonymous with the giving of spicy, dark-brown plum cakes topped with stiff icing and dry fruits. The Christmas cake is a December highlight that brings the family together for sharing laughter, memories and warm family stories. Grape wine and chocolates are other unavoidable Christmas delicacies along with traditional Kerala cuisines like appam and chicken curry.
People form Carol groups to sing popular Christmas songs visiting the houses in the neighborhood to send warm regards and wishes. Christmas Father or Santa Claus accompanies the Carol groups in sending Christmas wishes. People gather around the Santa Claus, drumming and dancing joyously.
Christmas greeting cards are exchanged amongst friends, family and relatives. The greeting card has, of course, diminished in importance with the rise of instant messaging and email, but fortunately it has not quite vanished. This demonstrates the adamant Christmas spirit of Keralites.
It goes without saying that Christmas is the season of gifting. From kids to elder members of the family, everyone exchanges thoughtful and exciting Christmas gifts. Chocolates, sweets, custom-made decor items etc are popular Christmas gifts. The concept of Secret Santa is also famous in Kerala. Close friends and family members are secretly assigned with different recipients and they exchange gifts anonymously.
New Year preparations follow Christmas celebrations, adding more excitement and enthusiasm. After 25 December, the celebrations continue to welcome a fresh year. December ends perfectly with pompous celebrations for Christmas as well as New Year.