Christmas has come to Goa once again. The festive season is one that people look forward to all year. It’s that time of year where there’s something happening every day. Parties, friends, and family visiting from abroad, weddings and an all-around feeling of Christmas cheer abounds from the beginning of December.
Spreading Christmas cheer around the state
A Goan Christmas is full of traditions. Some of these include decorating the house from top to bottom in every conceivable. And it’s not just Catholics that decorate their homes. Christmas cheer spreads to one and all and you will find people from other faiths also putting up Christmas trees with all the trimmings and they even hang a star outside their homes.
Away in a manger
The crib is yet another tradition that forms a major part of Christmas. It depicts the birth of Christ in the manger and can be seen in peoples’ homes all over the state. If you make a trip to South Goa during the season, some villages even set up life-sized cribs that attract visitors from all over.
Food and sweets are another big part of Christmas in Goa. With friends and family dropping in throughout the festive season, it’s no secret that the old timers in Goan families end up preparing enough mouthwatering dishes to feed a small village. Christmas lunch is proof of this with the table trembling under the weight of roast chicken or pigling, pulao, and other delectables.
Christmas sweets, on the other hand, also get a table to themselves. It’s a sugar high that hits all in the household. There’s everything, from Christmas fruit cake for the traditionalists to more unconventional cakes, to other traditional sweets like marzipan, kulkuls, neureos, perada (guava cheese and of course, not to forget everyone’s favorite, dodol.
The Gift of Giving
Everyone loves to give and receive gifts. It is, after all, part of spreading Christmas cheer. Therefore, people do gift their loved ones something special on Christmas. While some give small gifts, handmade or storebought, others may go all out and give out elaborate gifts. Christmas gifts are one of the highlights of the festival and one that is looked forward to by all whether young or old.
Caroling on Goan streets
Another way that Goans spread Christmas cheer is by going caroling on the nights leading up to Christmas. This is a relatively new tradition though in the state capital, there is a large group that does gather together in front of the Panjim church and they sing their hearts out. Anyone can join in the festivities and spread a little Christmas cheer of their own.
With so much to look forward to at Christmas time in Goa, it’s time to make a trip and share in the festive spirit and the Christmas cheer that the season has to offer.