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Lifestyle, Travel

Christmas in India acquires distinct local flavours as regions weave in their own traditional customs.

It’s that magical time of the year – the aroma of freshly- baked plum cakes has begun to permeate the air, Church choirs are rehearsing their carols and children are drawing up their list of demands for Santa Claus, as Christmas trees and decorations glitter in the market. As the word celebrates Christmas on December 25, various regions in India also soak in the spirit of the festival and commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ in their own special way. Here are six among them.


KOLKATA
Park Street was the social and Christmas capital of the country till the 1960s. The Naxalite years and the economic decline under the Communists killed its vibrancy.Christmas decorations are sold in the center of New Market, an iconic Kolkata building.   The highlight of the Christmas Festival is getting cars off Park Street (officially, Mother Teresa Sarani). On the Sunday before Christmas, there’s a four-hour parade, led by schoolchildren. On Christmas Day itself, Park Street is out of bounds for cars for most of the day – from 2.00 pm to 10.00 pm.

KOCHI
In Kerala, Christmas is celebrated in the traditional way, with a dash of local flavour. Devotees gather in churches across the state for midnight mass. Several days prior to Christmas Eve, homes, shops,malls and offices are decorated with signature Christmas adornments, such as a crib, a traditional Christmas tree and stars of varying sizes and shapes. In the evenings, carol groups visit homes, a popular practice particularly in the countryside, where the groups are much larger. Come Christmas day, and a customary feast involving Friends and relatives takes centre stage. Among the most revered churches where Christmas is celebrated is the St Francis Church in Kochi, believed to be one of the oldest built by Europeans in India. It is also where Vasco da Gama was buried before his mortal remains were exhumed and taken back to Portugal.
CHENNAI
Tamil Nadu also celebrates Christmas with cheer. Churches are brightly decorated with lights and see large gathering for midnight mass. The Santhome Cathedral Basilica in Chennai, the capital, attracts a lot of visitors. The Church is built over the tomb of At Thomson, one of the 12 Apostles of Jesus Christ.

GOA
Christmas celebrations in Goa go beyond the gates of the churches and spill over into the streets for everyone to enjoy and take part in. It is a time for merrymaking and exchanging gifts. Christmas in Goa is also about delicious cakes, puddings and delectable local dishes. Churches across Goa, such as the Basilica of Bom Jesus, Church of Our Lady of Rosary ( the oldest surviving Church in Goa) and Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, reverberate with hymns and prayers. Do not forget to visit the markets of Mapusa and Panaji for Christmas goodies.

SHIMLA
With of without snow, Christmas in Shimla is magical. Churches across the city, especially At Michael’s Cathedral and Christ Church, wear a festival look and have a steady line of visitors all day long. Church going crowds throng The Ridge and Mall Road to feast on special cakes and pastries baked for the occasion and ring in Christmas day with great fanfare.

SHILLONG
Christmas in Shillong comprises visiting friends and family to exchange greetings and sharing special festival delicacies. Families lay out a generous spread of dishes for visitors, the most popular being dohneiiong, a meat- based delight, and a traditional Christmas cake. Midnight mass sees the Cathedral Catholic Church filled to the doors while Christmas cheer resounds across the hills. Shillong boasts an egalitarian society, which is best reflected during Christmas day when people visit orphanages, old-age he’s and hospitals with food and gifts.

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10 FUN ACTIVITIES AND GAMES FOR CELEBRATING CHILDREN’S DAY AT HOME AND SCHOOL.


14 TH November is approaching and its time to gear up to celebrate Children’s day. I truly believe that each and every day is to be celebrated with our little sun shines, but dedicating a day exclusively for them is wonderful and it was a day that even we used to look forward to, during our childhood days. Lets take a trip down the memory lane and enjoy the fun filled day with our little munchkins.

1] Bake a cake– The kids love to bake a cake and what better start the day with your kitchen filled with the smell of freshly baked cakes. Try some innovative recipes, make a savory cake with the child to surprise the people. The kids can bake a chai cake with salted icing to surprise their dads.

2] Get your dream job– Every child has certain dreams and aspirations ask the kiddo what he or she aspires to become so if possible let them have a dummy session of their desired job. If they wish to

3] Marathon– Provide them a booster on health and importance of fitness regimes. Organize a marathon for a good cause, the main idea should be completing the race and not winning it. Each child should rejoice the feeling of
completing the race.

4] On a picnic– Nothing is better than going on a picnic, the winter has approached and taking a sun bathe in the park can be a wonderful idea. Carry some snacks and games to play at the picnic spot.

5] Visit to some museum– Plan an outing to some famous museum of your city. It would be an educational plus a fun outing for the kids.

6] Visit to some place of worship– Taking them to place of worship will inculcate a good value in them right from their budding phase. The power of prayers and its importance will be understood by the kids and it will help them to relax and distress.

7] A cycling expedition– In the wee hours of morning take kids out in a pollution free and traffic free zone. The fresh air will just freshen up their body and mind and get the day started for them. After the cycling tour just head for some protein packed healthy breakfast. A gift of health and inculcating healthy lifestyle in them will be the greatest gift for the kids.

8] A crafting tour– Get your kids started with some gift making. A recycling or upgrading program will just get them to know the creative side of their personality. They will learn a new art and rejoice at the fact of creating something new and interesting.

9] Dance party– Just groove to some peppy music and get the party started. Tap your feet to latest Bollywood tracks and have fun as you match beats with the kids and learn new moves.

10] Simply talk to them– The kids are exposed to various matters of stress from a very early age. Nuclear families and working parents all of these just leaves them alone. They do not have anyone to deal with their problems, big or small. They cannot share their feelings and talking to them will help them to unfold and open up. They will be able to get comfortable and get their issues resolved.

Small boy talking to his mother

The whole concept of celebrating Children’s day should be that kids have fun in an organic way rather than spending time in useless handful playoff or they should be introduced with few aspects of life.

#FLAVORSOFWORLD

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