Christmas in India

How do I wish someone there a Happy Christmas?

  • With 22 official languages and hundreds more spoken throughout the country, it might be easier to stick to ‘Merry Christmas!’

When do they give presents?

  • Christmas Day

Who brings the presents?

  • Father Christmas

What’s on the menu?

  • Outside of the big tourist hotels, local dishes and curries are the norm. Special Christmas foods include sweet treats like fruitcakes, rose cookies, and sweet dumplings, reflecting India’s diverse cultural traditions.

Any other traditions I should know about?

  • In some parts of India, Christmas is barely celebrated. But in areas with a large Christian population like Goa and cities like Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi, it’s still a big festival.
  • Christmas is still mainly a religious festival, with most Christians attending Midnight Mass.
  • Decorations include trees strung with lights, while nativity scenes often take pride of place in homes. Stars are also popular decorations to hang outside houses.
  • One custom involves taking cakes and sweets to neighbours, sharing the festive spirit regardless of religion.
  • The size of India means you could spend it on the beach in Goa or have a white Christmas in the hill station of Shimla in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh.