In the four weeks running up to Christmas we will be looking at a different country each week. You’ll get to find out how Christmas is celebrated in that part of the world and hear from some TWR listeners living there.
Christian homes are easily located during this season, as they are sure to have at least one big star hanging prominently, along with lights or candles. Christmas trees and nativity scenes are also set up in most Christian institutions and hospitals, as well as houses in the towns and cities.
Bakeries are filled with people purchasing cakes of different shapes and sizes. In towns and rural areas, homemade cakes, native sweets and cookies are prepared. On Christmas Day a special lunch or dinner is prepared in all Christian homes, and the main dish is biryani, a rice-based curry.
Presents are mainly given to children, but Christians also go the extra mile and visit orphanages, hospitals, prisons and leprosy homes to give gifts and food. Santa Claus is a popular figure among children in India, and is synonymous with Christmas. However, he is seen as someone from a foreign culture, who has been imported into India.
Christmas is a joyous occasion for one and all in India. Known as ‘Bada Din’ in Hindi (translated as ‘Big Day’), it is a season when people of all faiths are open to the message of Christmas. Christians in India increasingly use Christmas as an opportunity to witness openly.
“After losing my husband, my son-in-law and my eldest son I fell into deep despair. In my sorrow I heard a voice and it said, “I am Jesus who loves you.” I went searching for this Jesus. In my search, I found him and gave my life to Jesus. I was a very new believer and very ignorant about the Bible. The SD cards that TWR India provided were the start of my spiritual journey. At 63 years old today, I cannot read or write, but God has blessed me to lead 60 Radio Home Groups.”