Christmas is celebrated on 25th December all over the world with a lot of enthusiasm, pomp and joy, cutting across the barriers of religion. The day marks the birth of Lord Jesus. The festival is marked with a lot of merrymaking and gaiety.
Wondering where to spend your Christmas holiday this year?
December being the coolest month in India, is also the loveliest of them all. While entire India is getting ready to welcome the New Year, Goa – a former colony of the Portuguese, gears up for 25th December.
So, do you fancy a Christmas holiday in Goa?
Christmas in Goa is celebrated like no other place in India. Every community in Goa joins hands to celebrate this festival. Christmas in Goa is all about the smell of scented candles, Santa Clause, star and crib making, burning of the old man, carol singing and the exchange of gifts! And of course, not to forget the most happening type of Christmas parties across the state.
Plan your Goa holiday to enjoy a traditional and festive Christmas season. Here’s our list of 5 things to do in Goa during Christmas.
Midnight Mass, Cake and Coffee
There is no better way than bringing in the Christmas celebrations by attending a midnight mass service and giving thanks to The Almighty for all your blessings. Considering that Goa is home to almost over 400 churches, which makes it way easier for people to attend the Christmas eve mass at any nearby church. Usually, the Christmas midnight service starts by 10:30 pm, so be on time and grab a seat.
Join in and sing along with the choir to the hymns and carols. While you meet and greet your folks after the service, don’t forget to help yourself to some tasty fruit cake and hot coffee that’s served.
Dancing and parties are an inevitable part of the Christmas celebrations in Goa. If you’re the kind of person that is fond of ballroom dancing then quite a few places in the state host formal dances. Some of the famous spots to be at are Emerlad Lawns, Alva Mar, Silver Bells, Blueberry Hills, Woodburne Hall and Quinta de Valadares among others.
Sinq, Cubana, Cohiba, Showbar, Mambos, Marabela Beach Resort and Cavala are some of the hep places to go to if you’re looking to be blown away with Bollywood, Hip-Hop and EDM tunes.
These parties usually take place either on 24th or 25th evenings and go on until midnight. So, put on your dancing shoes along with your best attire and get ready to dance until dawn at these parties.
Thought of bringing in the Christmas and New Year celebrations with an array of fireworks by the beach? Here’s some good news for you then! A couple of beaches in the state have the most beautiful display of fireworks. If you’re the type of person that would adore such an act, head to the nearest beach on Christmas eve, and while you relish your seafood enjoy the stunningly colourful fireworks in the night sky.
The fireworks display that takes place on Christmas and New Year’s Eve is absolutely breath-taking which only adds more beauty to this destination. It’s a glamorous sight everyone must witness once in a lifetime.
Carol Singing, Crib and Burning of the Old man
The young and old of every village in Goa go door to door carol serenading by the third week of December. This is definitely a great way to hear all your favourite carols sung live.
The entire family comes together to put up the crib for Christmas. Almost all the villages in Goa organize carol singing, crib and star making competitions too.
Burning of the Old Man is not exactly a Christmas celebration but a New Year’s Eve one. An age-old practice kept alive by native Goans even today. As the name suggests, several effigies similar to old men, made of hay and old clothes, are set on fire to signify the destruction of the worries and ills of the previous year. Money is usually collected by children to save for next year’s celebrations.
Scrumptious Christmas Meal
Apart from the beaches, Goa is also known for its superb cuisine. Treat yourself to an exceptionally traditional Goan meal either for lunch or dinner at a fancy restaurant around town or by the beach. Indulge in mouth-watering delights like Roast Turkey, Pork Sorpotel, Beef Roast, Prawn Balchao, Chicken Cafreal, Pork Vindaloo and Chicken Xacuti to name a few. Remember to leave room for Goa’s favourite dessert, Bebinca.
Depending on your budget, a minimum meal will cost you around Rs. 500 at a small restaurant while the maximum would go up to Rs. 3000-5000 at a fancy eat out.