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Kerala Christmas Festivals

Celebrating Christmas, Kerala style

Christmas Festivals in Kerala

The spirit of Christmas is evident in Kerala. Host to Christian missionaries through the centuries, the state's Christmas celebration is unique.

The birth of Jesus Christ on December 25 each year sees a variety of customs and ceremonies. To begin with there is the Christmas Star, the Christmas tree, the Crib, the Christmas cake, presents, and of course, Father Christmas, who is the star attraction for children. Though the Christmas tree is a comparatively new addition to Christmas celebrations in Kerala, it is the twinkling Christmas star put up at Christian homes or shops which sets the tone for a season of cheerfulness and joy. In cathedrals and churches, the nativity of Jesus is enacted through miniature models. Carols and songs developed from nativity plays are sung. Priests hold the Holy Mass in churches at midnight. Before the Mass begins, an image of the child Jesus is brought out by the priest, preceded by children holding lighted candles that are placed in the crib. Hymns are sung and crackers are burst to signify the coming of Jesus Christ into the world. Later in the day, there is a feast with delicacies. Cakes are made at homes along with traditional Kerala sweets making Christmas a traditional Kerala festival.