‘A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together’ says author, Garrison Keillor. Here in Mumbai, Mr. Keillor makes sense in more ways than one. Christmas in Mumbai does come like a thunderstorm and it sweeps you off your feet. Here are some places where people celebrate Christmas together in all its glory.
This is one of the pockets in the city where one would expect nothing less than a full-fledged traditional Christmas celebration with the entire pomp and show; and they would be right to expect so! The traditional cottages at the tiny villages in Bandra such as Ranwar, Pali, Sherly, Rajan and Chuim are busy with the hustle-bustle of preparations for the festivities and cooking the elaborate feast of Christmas. All the houses in Bandra village are well-lit and decorated, celebrations are held at churches and families visit and exchange gifts, sweets and wishes.
This is another hotspot for authentic Christmas celebrations. The Mangalorean believers of the faith are a very large community here and the prominent churches here such as St. Ignatius Loyola Church, St. Michael’s Church and St. Gonsalo Garcia Church plan several events and different ways of celebrating this occasion, such as ‘Orphan Christmas Night’ and ‘Environment Friendly Christmas Celebrations’.
This town with old world charm has a lot to offer on a normal day as well. On Christmas, it decks up in fineries and lights and shows off its welcoming Christmas tree. The quaint bungalows with Portuguese and British architecture, lanterns, tiny balconies, roofs and stained glass windows are tastefully lit and decorated.
4. Other Christmas Hangouts
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. When in Christmas, do as the Christmas-ers do! Some other places where you can go to experience all things Christmas are IC Colony in Borivali, Orlem in Malad, Kalina, Amboli and Marol in Andheri East. Church committees here organise events and activities such as prayer services, mass, carol singing, competitions etc. They also have feasts laid out to suit the festival.
If you wish to throw all cares of your pocket to the winds and splurge on a big grand Christmas, visit some of the Christmas brunches and Christmas Eve Dinners at The Oberoi and Trident at Nariman Point, Four Seasons at Worli, Intercontinental, The Lalit at Andheri, Courtyard, Marriott at Juhu, Renaissance at Powai and Fifty Five East, Grand Hyatt at Santacruz. Along with the traditional Christmas pies, puddings, roast and stuffed turkeys and cakes, they offer events such as Santa Claus distributing gifts, Christmas Parade, carol singing and games as well.
These are a few places you could celebrate the season to be jolly. However, as a lot of people would say, there is no place like home. Taking a cue from that, you could either bring Christmas to your home this season, or visit a friend’s home to enjoy the festivities like nowhere else.