Kolkata, the city of joy celebrates Christmas merrily cutting across religious lines to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. It’s not only Christians, but Bengalis, Chinese, Muslims and other religious castes who spend the final days of the year like one big family. All city churches and cathedrals are decorated with colorful festoons, paper stars, Christmas trees, twinkling lights and candles. Daylong prayers are performed in these churches starting from midnight on Christmas Eve. Cakes, cookies, wine and midnight masses at churches amid tight security from officials mark Christmas celebrations across West Bengal.
The city’s famous heritage location, Bow Barracks inhibited by mainly Anglo-Indians and Christians buzzes with huge number of activities that are people of all ages take part in and starts well ahead of Christmas. There are sports tournaments mainly cricket, football and hockey during the day followed by carnivals and music festivals in the evening that continue through late hours into the night. If it’s Christmas it has to be Bow Barracks. The various types of wines, the revelry, the enthusiasm and homemade cakes make Christmas celebrations matchless at Bow Barracks.
St. Paul’s Cathedral is one of the most significant spiritual arenas of Kolkata. It is a very serene and peaceful place and is very well preserved. The church has no chauvinism concerning caste or religion and is destined for people belonging to all spiritual faith. The Cathedral takes a celebratory look at the time of Christmas. Inhabitants in Kolkata congregate in this cathedral to celebrate the fiesta with great happiness and joy. The Christmas celebration here features Christmas carols throughout the day and serving people wine to celebrate the special day of the year.
Mother Teresa Sarani, formerly Park Street also known as “Food Street” and “The Street that Never Sleeps” is famous for its bustling night-spots and mansion-lined street that oozes a British era charm is also lit up and decorated magnificently. From colorful snow streamers, sparkling battery-operated stars, snow bells, dancing Santa, musical Christmas trees, foldable trees, wreaths and foldable decorative items and baubles, decor shops line up a host of ornaments add the extra glitz to Christmas.
Kolkata Christmas festival which is a State government initiative adds a beautiful charm to the Christmas celebrities in the city of joy. It features dances, musical performances by various renowned singers and musicians, Christmas carols, cooking competitions and most interestingly a vintage car rally which has become a huge hit over the years.
Apart from all these, various bakeries and confectionaries of the city have come up with new kinds of cakes and cookies. Most of the city hotels and restaurants include scrumptious turkey dishes and delicious cakes for the special occasion. Exchange of greetings and gifts, visits to relatives, games and sports among children and community feasts mark Christmas celebrations throughout the state. Large queues, comprising mostly kids are seen at the city zoo, Victoria Memorial Hall, the Indian Museum and other sight-seeing spots of the city. Some people organize daylong picnics too. Young couples throng various parks across the city to spend some time together.