Hindi Language Blog

How to spend Christmas in Mumbai Posted by on Dec 14, 2021 in Culture, Holidays

Christmas in India

Christmas in India

Christmas in Mumbai was and will still remain a magical experience जादुई अनुभव for this writer. The weather in Mumbai is a nice 75 degrees Farenheit and not humid, (I know that does not sound like Christmas to most Americans). Actually this is one of the best times to go to India. Ex patriates प्रवासियों from all over converge on the subcontinent उपमहाद्वीप for family and friend reunions.

So how does one spend Christmas in India. Since the writer is from Mumbai, the focus ध्यान केंद्रित करना will be on that great metropolis.

Go Shopping

Since the lead up to Christmas is usually shopping, take a stroll into Crawford Market or down Linking Road Bandra. The experience is unlike the malls of North America. People display shoes, dresses, gifts, and toys on tables by the roadside or in small makeshift stalls. Buyers haggle over prices – a necessity in order not to get ripped off.

The season starts right at the beginning of December with shops in busy markets like Crawford Market, selling made in India, fake Christmas trees with all their trimmings. If you take a stroll through the market, you will see tables filled with pine cones, baubles in bright red, gold and silver and paper star lanterns लालटेन.

At Crawford Market busy tailors दर्जी and seamstresses buy their material and trim for the custom made clothing. However nowadays people do get beautiful ready made dresses and suits, but for those who can afford it bespoke clothing is still the preferred choice पसंद.

Take a Heritage Stroll

A short rickshaw ride away from Linking Road are the narrow bylanes of Bandra. You must get out and walk down Chapel Road which has old heritage homes that have brightly painted art on the outside walls. These lanes are lit up with paper star lanterns and streaming lights.

Check out a Heritage Church

Nearby is the famous Mt. Mary Church which is a tourist attraction. People from all walks of life, and all religions come to this beautiful church to pray and seek blessings. They catch the spirit of peace शांति and merriment in the air.  There are other churches as well that are lit up and if you can, attend a midnight mass. There is something about seeing everyone dress up and attend a packed out church. People sing carols and then wish each other Merry Christmas after the service.

Spend time Making Sweets

People then gather in their homes with families and friends to eat the famous Kuswar sweets. Kuswar is a tradition of making typical Indo-Portuguese and British sweet concoctions such as fruit cake, cookies, date rolls and other coconut नारियल based confections.

One thing to note is that people do not place a lot of importance on the exchange लेन देन of gifts as in the West. They place emphasis ज़ोर on gathering together, eating and drinking and meeting up with friends.

Go Carol Singing

Another cultural attraction सांस्कृतिक आकर्षण that you can get involved in is carol singing. Check out any church and they will direct you on how to join in. You will hear young and old singing carols on the streets accompanied के साथ by guitars. The weather is warm enough for people to spend a few hours going house to house.

On Christmas after, there is a huge dinner, usually at home with family. After which people prepare to attend one of the many Christmas balls around the city.





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About the Author: Nicole Herbert Dean

Language, Region and Culture Consultant to the Department of Defense and United States Military.