That Goa is very different from just any other state or city in India becomes evident and obvious as you enter Goa. Gone are the ever-present temples and shrines and temples dedicated to Indian deities. The place has been taken away by Christian whitewashed churches that rear mysteriously from behind the palm trees. And for the Goans, they not only recognize the festival of Christmas but also celebrate it with all the gusto and delight.
As Christmas nears, you can feel a sense of excitement in the Goan air. The local markets are occupied with decorative materials and special foods. Every house and church is decorated with colored lights and streamers. Beautiful nativity scenes are painted to exemplify the popular Christmas story. As the big day looms in, groups of carol singers can be seen touring the restaurants in Goa, to earn some extra money. Santa Claus is seen walking through the streets, shaking hands and distributing sweets to the kids. During the Christmas, while the true essence and meaning of the festival is upholded by Goa, it is even more interesting to see on the other hand how Santa Claus makes his way through the local roads and becomes one with the local people and culture of Goa.
Christmas is the time when you are invited by nature to the sun kissed land of Goa. Life reverberates as the withered leaves fall just to welcome you to the grandest of all festivals in Goa. Yes, it’s Christmas. It’s the festival, which witnesses the birth of Lord Jesus, every year on December 25th. It is the time when the entire globe comes together to take pleasure in parties, celebrations, music, dance, and many more. Christmas in Goa is no less than a time when the whole land awakens up for an unparalleled zest and fervor.
Christmas is a festival that is universally celebrated by all, irrespective of any religion, caste or creed. It marks the beginning of feasts and beautiful moments. The Goa Churches decks up in colorful papers and lights and every corner of Goa illuminates with the aroma from candles, thereby creating a pleasing experience for you. Drinking, dancing and partying are an integral part of the lives of people in Goa, and Christmas is no exception, where even the tourists gather for merry making. From carols to hip-hop music, the nights in Goa seems to never come to an end. Every corner is gorgeously decorated with Christmas trees, ribbons, snow, candles, candies and cakes. People get dresses in their best outfits and exchange gifts with the near ones. Christmas in Goa is a fun time for all and is an extravaganza, the thrill of which you simply cannot afford to miss!
The month of December is considered to be holy. For the Catholics staying in Goa, it is the festival that marks the beginning of feasts and universal celebration irrespective of where one comes from. Amidst these magical moments of joy and happiness, comes the starry night- ‘24th December’. It is time to welcome Lord Jesus. People gather in groups to welcome this holy and auspicious moment. They wake up in the morning to the musical church bells and go off to sleep with the sounds of the crackers. Goa is the land where high spirits don’t appear to flow and one cannot break loose oneself from the charisma of sheer fun and frolic.
During Christmas Eve, Goa brims with far-off members from various families on their way back home and many visitors eager on experiencing the ecstasy of the season. Christmas carols can be heard every where from Fm radio, to bars and buses. The nativity scene is beautifully created with the help of millet grass, hay, clay statues and boxboard artifacts.
Christmas Rituals in Goa
Though the festival of Christmas is originally meant for the Christians, yet people from all other religions participate in the merry making and revelry. Christmas is celebrated in Goa in a truly stunning way. The message of love, affection and peace is spread among the people on this occasion. People engage themselves in partying, gifts exchanging, drinking dancing, singing and eating.
The Goan Catholics as well the other people in Goa get dressed up in their best attires and set out for merry making and attending midnight mass with their near ones. The streets in Goa overflow with people shopping, dancing and singing away into glory. Men dressed as Santa Claus are seen walking through the streets, offering gifts, snacks and sweets especially to children. Houses in Goa are beautifully decorated with stars, Christmas trees, shining lights and clay lamps. The Churches are filled with people who come to offer their praying to Lord Jesus.
Christmas in Goa is the time for day and night partying. Every corner of Goa from the beaches to the city hubs witnesses large gathering of people who have plans to dance away the whole night with their friends, family and loved ones. Family reunions are an integral part of the celebrations of Christmas in Goa. During Christmas Eve, Midnight Mass is observed by many families. The Midnight Mass marks the birth of Lord Jesus in the midnight. Christmas carols and hymns are sung by the Goans at midnight. Lighting candles and sounding bells characterizes the midnight mass, during the Christmas. People savor on delicious eateries and various types of cakes are baked and cut on the occasion of Christmas.
Christmas Decorations in Goa
Christmas decorations in Goa are an integral part of the city’s Christmas celebrations. The first and foremost thing without which the decoration is incomplete is the decoration of the Christmas trees. The Christmas trees are magnificently decorated with hanging balls, colored papers, shining lights, small figures of squirrels, lambs, birds, and horses, moons, stars, snow, streamers, beautiful gifts and many more. Various fruits are used to embellish the Christmas tree. Colorful socks are often hanged with the belief that Santa would fill those socks with beautiful gifts. The houses are also decorated with poinsettias, colorful papers, beautiful paintings etc. The Churches, decorated with artifacts and wrapped in lights look amazingly gorgeous. Clay statues, clay lamps, beautiful artifacts of millet, box board and hay grass are also used for decoration.
Churches to Visit during Christmas in Goa
- Basilica of Bom Jesus
- Church of Our Lady of Rosary
- Church of St Anne
- Church of Reis Magos
- Church of Holy Spirit
- Se Cathedral
- Church of St Francis of Assisi
- Reis Magos Church
Christmas Food in Goa
Goa has always been the land of celebrations and festivals and this is very strongly reflected in the Goa food. With Christian Community predominant in Goa, the people of Goa have their own unique ways to celebrate Christmas. In keeping with this festival, the Goans have a distinct cuisine that is specially made on the occasion of Christmas. The gusto of Christmas in Goa is beautifully reflected in the sweet puddings, the varied meat and fish dishes etc. Christmas also happens to be the ideal time for the tourists and travelers to take pleasure in the scrumptious Christmas cuisine in the region.
For all those foodies out there, you can savor on a number of interesting eateries, while in Goa. Some of the special food items available during Christmas, in Goa are
Sorpatel: This is a traditional curry in Goa and forms a vital part of Goa’s Christmas cuisine. It is made of pork meat and liver.
Bebinca: Bebinca is a popular Goan desert, revealing sweetness of the festival of Christmas in the land of Goa.
Pork Vindaloo: This dish is a main course food item. With a tangy taste, the dish can be best enjoyed with Jeera rice and plain boiled rice.
Some of the other dishes especially made during the Christmas Festival in Goa are Prawn Balchao, Chocolate Walnut Fudge, Prawn Ambot Tik, Fish Xacuti, and Chicken Cafreal to name just some of them.
Christmas in Goa means festivity, entreaty, prayers and joy! Being a major festival in Goa, Christmas is celebrated with all the gaiety, keenness and love. So the ideal time for you to pay down a visit to Goa is during the Christmas. This is not only the time when Christmas celebrations begin in Goa but also the weather is very pleasant and ideal for touring. “Christmas in Goa: Enjoy Like Never Before”!