How India celebrates Christmas across cultures
There are distinct customs for every culture in different states of India.
In India comparatively to other religious festivals, Christmas is considered to be a small festival, which is due to the number of people who are Christians (about 2.3%). However, the population of India is over 1 Billion, so statistically, it can be said that there are over 25 million Christians in India.
One of the largest Indian Christian Communities in a city is in Mumbai. A lot of the Christians in Mumbai (previously known as Bombay) are Roman Catholics. In India's smallest state, Goa which is on the west of India, about 26% of people are Christians.
The states of Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Mizoram (all on the very east of India) have high populations of Christians residing as well.
Midnight mass is a very important service for Christians in India, especially Catholics. The whole family will walk to the mass and this will be followed by a delicious feast of different savouries, (mostly curries) and then comes the best part of giving and receiving of presents.
Churches in India are decorated with Poinsettia flowers and candles for the Christmas Eve Midnight Mass service.
Christians in Goa love to celebrate Christmas! Goa has lots of customs as part of their Christmas as Goa has historical connections with Portugal. The very popular 'traditional' rich fruit Christmas Cake. Lots of local sweets are also eaten at Christmas in Goa.
The tribal Christians of the Bhil folk belonging to the north-west, for a week go out night after night for a week at Christmas to sing their own carols the whole night through.
In the state of Kerala where 22% of the state's population are Christians and Christmas is one of the grandest festivals. As a Tradition from 1st to 24th Catholics fast don't eat until the midnight service. Every house is decorated with shining, fancy Christmas star along with cribs in their homes and Churches.