Christmas In India | Teen Ink

Christmas In India MAG

September 23, 2008
By kmathew PLATINUM, New City, New York
kmathew PLATINUM, New City, New York
48 articles 0 photos 8 comments

What is Christmas like in ­India? Many think India is an all-Hindu country, but it’s not. The country has 32,000 Christians – about two percent of its population.

I remember Christmases when I lived there. We spent Christmas Eve preparing for the next day. The women got an early start cooking, and the children would decorate the house. But long before, people started preparing in other ways.

I lived near a famous church that constructed a ­different nativity each year, all of which were huge and looked amazing and realistic. My landlord’s daughter and I would create a unique nativity of our own. For my last Christmas in India, I planted wheat seeds, and by Christmas, we had ­perfect fields. We made a shed for the holy family and the rest of the nativity and cut paths in the wheat to make our nativity look realistic.

Almost all Christian homes in India put up a star, which is one thing you won’t find in America. Some also string lights. We had a huge jackfruit tree in our front lawn that we deco­rated. Once we glued white ­styrofoam balls to the tree, pretending they were snow. One of the pastors saw our creation and congratulated us. Other people made Christmas trees too.

But the best part of Christmas was Christmas Eve. Carolers came by and we gave out plum cakes, which most families in India exchange on Christmas. Of course, parents, children, and siblings ­exchange other gifts too, but you give plum cakes to other families.

Everyone went to midnight Mass wearing new clothes. In our church, we would walk around the neighborhood with candles. Many people lit fireworks as the church-goers passed by. The Mass was long but worth it.

Christmas in India was very ­different from in the U.S. There everyone worked together to make the season magical. Christmas brings joy to all; it is a holiday that I look forward to every year. Sometimes I wish I could go back to India to celebrate, ­because it brought us all close ­together and made some wonderful memories.

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This article has 37 comments.

on Feb. 14 2015 at 9:31 am
Ray--yo PLATINUM, Kathmandu, Other
43 articles 2 photos 581 comments

Favorite Quote:
God Makes No Mistakes. (Gaga?)
"I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right." -Liesel Meminger via Markus Zusac, "The Book Thief"

The data in your first paragraph is not correct, as Indian population has been over a billion for years now. That being said, it was a well written piece. Congratulations on getting published.

on Aug. 2 2013 at 2:04 pm
PirateCountry DIAMOND, Muncie, Indiana
91 articles 18 photos 330 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."

I'm Indian and I'm part of that 2% Christian population. I am Christian Indian! You've captured Indian Christmases well. We put up Christmas trees and stuff.

on Dec. 23 2011 at 7:42 am
grey_jeans99 BRONZE, Pune, Other
1 article 0 photos 2 comments
I think u did a really great job. Very clear, simple and crisp. Now that there are so many malls in India, I think the real charm lies in the lit up streets and as you said the star on Christian homes, big or small. Keep it up!

Genya GOLD said...
on Nov. 17 2011 at 5:17 pm
Genya GOLD, Bridgewater, New Jersey
10 articles 0 photos 52 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Never do anything that you wouldn't want to explain to the paramedics."-Unknown Author

No snow in India...

it's interesting to see how different cultures practice the same holiday. I wonder what's a plum cake...

on Oct. 26 2011 at 3:36 pm
pens-are-mightier-than-swords SILVER, Caledonia, Michigan
8 articles 0 photos 46 comments

Favorite Quote:
"we often put up walls not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down"
~Author Unknown

Cool! Good job writing. It was descriptive, precise in wording, and very informative. Keep writing!

on Sep. 15 2011 at 2:13 am
sunshine04 BRONZE, Vindhyanagar, Other
1 article 3 photos 253 comments
 i am an indian too not a christian it was unique and  good

soldout said...
on Sep. 14 2011 at 4:24 pm
I'm Indian and although I'm not Christian, I found this interesting. You're lucky to have experienced something so unique!

indian said...
on Sep. 12 2011 at 12:46 pm
good job! 

on Jul. 8 2011 at 7:26 pm
kmathew PLATINUM, New City, New York
48 articles 0 photos 8 comments
thank you :)

on Jul. 8 2011 at 7:26 pm
kmathew PLATINUM, New City, New York
48 articles 0 photos 8 comments
thank you :)

on Jul. 8 2011 at 3:50 pm
itlovedtohappen GOLD, Ocala, Florida
10 articles 0 photos 32 comments
This is very interesting! Good work!

on Jun. 16 2011 at 8:38 pm
IamtheshyStargirl PLATINUM, Lothlorien, Utah
44 articles 16 photos 2206 comments

Favorite Quote:
Boredom instigates extreme creativity.

"Bowing gratefully to all of my subjects, 'thank you. Thank you. The pleasure is mine." Nah, I'm just kidding. We're all kings together.'"

This id awesome :) I loved reading about all the ways that made Christmas in India different from how it is in America, thank you for writing this, I am very glad that it got published in the magazine :)

on May. 3 2011 at 9:11 am
kmathew PLATINUM, New City, New York
48 articles 0 photos 8 comments
I lived in Kerala.

prettydotty said...
on May. 3 2011 at 6:15 am
hey where i mean in which state u lived????

on Feb. 26 2011 at 5:25 pm
sweetxluv BRONZE, Joelton, Tennessee
4 articles 2 photos 21 comments

Favorite Quote:
Elie Wiesel put it best: “None of us is in a position to eliminate war, but it is our obligation to denounce it and expose it in all its hideousness… Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

thank u , thank u , for wtiring this i know more about india..and the chirstmas epxerience........i'm indian too......

this was well written article .....luved it !

Gigantron GOLD said...
on Dec. 22 2010 at 4:43 pm
Gigantron GOLD, Somewhere, Texas
11 articles 0 photos 36 comments

Favorite Quote:
"There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority (imposed dogma, faith), [as opposed to] science, which is based on observation and reason. Science will win because it works."

-Stephen Hawking

This was an interesting read. I've always loved learning about how different cultures celebrate major holidays, like Christmas. It was certainly a good read to take my mind off of the stress that most Americans (me included) undergo during the holiday season. :)

on Nov. 30 2010 at 10:25 pm
FootprintsInTheSnow GOLD, Eden Prairie, Minnesota
10 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
"No." -Rosa Parks

Yes! I am too and I agree! Even though I am hindu we still celebrate Christmas (or the gift part of it anyway!) and all my american friends can't believe it!

on Nov. 30 2010 at 7:31 am
Jsullivan BRONZE, Huckleberryfinlane, Michigan
2 articles 0 photos 27 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Cancer...Cancer is in everything, the food, the water even the household items." (By: My grandfather)

excuse my spelling errors. :p

on Nov. 30 2010 at 7:29 am
Jsullivan BRONZE, Huckleberryfinlane, Michigan
2 articles 0 photos 27 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Cancer...Cancer is in everything, the food, the water even the household items." (By: My grandfather)

Thanks for writting this! It definetly changed my point of veiw as to what your culture was like.

on Nov. 8 2010 at 10:13 pm
Karamel PLATINUM, Gwinn, Michigan
35 articles 0 photos 38 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Clever people will recognize and tolerate nothing but cleverness." -Anonymous

This is really interesting! I love learning about different cultures, but hearing about the U.S.'s traditions in a different country is a new way of explaining things. If I were you, I would add a few more sensory details, like smell and taste, but other than that, it's perfect!