• Geetika Ahuja

Green Christmas in India: Places to visit

Updated: Dec 6, 2021

Christmas is a catholic festival widely celebrated in India. At this point, I think Indians just need a reason to celebrate and party. While most of us know how it’s celebrated(there are fairy lights, a tree to put all the gifts Santa brings under, and everything is red and white with amazing carnivals, obviously), some of us have forgotten why it is celebrated. Primarily it is the feast of the winter solstice.

Okay, all the kids at heart don’t kill me for saying this but, Santa isn’t real. It was a shocker for me, as well, and I wanted to kill the person who burst my bubble. However, the Tales of St. Nicolas (Who we all know as Santa Claus) is as real as it gets. St. Nicolas was a Christian bishop that lived in Myra (which is in modern-day Turkey) known for his generosity and kindness, especially towards the poor. Here’s an interesting fact about him that no one really celebrates, he was Eco-friendly! How do I know that? Well, he was known for leaving gifts in stockings or shoes that were kept near the fireplace. He did not use gift wrapping paper!

25th December is celebrated as the birth of Jesus, which is a week-long holiday for Christians and non-Christians. Basically everyone. Beautiful pine trees are decorated and candles are lit all around the house. Churches have masses, little children do plays and everyone sings Christmas Carols. But these days, traditions are commercialized and the original essence of the traditions is lost. In fact, talking about traditions being eco-friendly, one of the first instances of fir trees being decorated came in the 17th Century B.C.E, with apples.

We always associate Christmas with snow and red and white are the go-to Christmas-y colors. Have you ever given a thought to a green Christmas? With increasing climate change and global warming awareness, people are now looking for alternatives. Hence, going down the eco-friendly and sustainable road during festivals is extremely necessary. But, remember just because it’s eco-friendly does not mean it would be drab. Let’s have a look at a few places that offer amazing eco-friendly options to celebrate your holiday this year in India.


Mumbai

Instead of investing lots of money and getting a Christmas tree at home, you can always visit the Bandra fair. Head to Hill Road and witness a grand B-Town Christmas celebration. Every year, Mount Mary Church hosts an amazing nice fair with lots of food, lights, decoration, and obviously a Christmas tree. They also host a special midnight mass on the 24th of December, every year.

One of Byculla’s most popular landmarks is the gothic-style Gloria church built around 1632. Instead of buying plastic decorations and materials that are toxic to the environment you can always go to Hill Road and buy eco-friendly decorations. Who doesn’t love shopping on Christmas?

Mumbai is not only highly known for its traffic but also for its wide variety of food options. No plans of visiting the relatives or not in the mood to cook? We got it covered. There are plenty of restaurants in the city that offer great Christmas meals. Just hit up Zomato or swiggy!


Goa

Talk about Christmas and not consider Goa! Nooooo! 2020 was a good year to learn eco-friendly decorations from the city otherwise known as the party destination of India. The localities from Goa made eco-friendly Christmas trees with leftover materials accumulated over the years. That’s some best out of waste activity right there. Goa is definitely creative. Famous for the numerous churches around the city and the amazing preparations for Christmas in Goa are certainly on my bucket list. Who knows what this year holds.

According to Travel Triangle, places to not miss in Goa during Christmas include The all-time famous Basilica of Bom Jesus, Se Cathedral, and Santa Cruz church.

By the way, this year, if you want to try and make a Christmas tree on your own, here is how you do that: paint pieces of cardboard (if you are a frequent Amazon shopper, I am sure you have tonnes of cardboard at home) and decorate it with streamers and lights. otherwise, you can follow this really cute DIY Christmas tree video #DIYChristmasTree | How To Make Christmas Tree/Table Top Christmas Tree/Eco-friendly Christmas Tree. and this one for some quick DIY Christmas decorations DIY zero waste Christmas decorations | Sustainable Christmas Guide


Puducherry

A French colony with a continental charm is an apt place to celebrate Christmas. Talk about an eco-friendly Christmas, imagine grand old architecture surrounded with beautiful trees made from leftover pieces of wood and reusable material, pretty carol concerts, and ample delicacies to feast on. Like it? Well, that Christmas in Puducherry.

Also if you are in town for Christmas definitely stay at Maison Perumal, it has some of the most unique Christmas experiences in the town. Once they hosted an art exhibition on Christmas for local artists. Talking about places you can not miss: Domus Dei Cathedral, one of the most amazing Christmas masses.


Kochi

Also known as South India’s unofficial capital of culture, Kochi holds the famous Cochin Carnival around Fort Kochi in the last two weeks of December. There are world-class art shows, colorful stalls, mouthwatering food, and at the end of the week on New Year’s night an effigy of an old man is burnt that represents the old year. It is called the burning of ‘Papaanji’. The best part is that the churches have decided not to use any material that causes ecological damage for decorations. Their cute Christmas stars would be made out of cloth and paper. For the past five years, a hotel in Kochi has been using waste paper to decorate its lobby. Well Cochin, we appreciate the commitment!

We know that traditionally Christmas is white, which is why both Manali and Shimla are also amazing spots to enjoy Christmas at! But we do urge you to consider the damage our excitement for these festivals causes and opt for a greener Christmas, just like the traditions demanded, in embracing the warmth of our family and friends having rich experiences together.

Do try these places and let us know your experiences or even if you know some amazing places in India where Christmas just can’t be missed!

As always, Khakhed wishes you a very green day! We will soon be coming out with some fun DIY Christmas decoration guide for you to enjoy making with your whole family! If there are some places you would like to go visit for an eco-friendly and fun Christmas but are not sure where to go or what to do, leave us an email at khakhed@gmail.com and we would love to check ‘em out for you!




The content belongs to the writer and Khakhed

The images belong to the designer and Khakhed


36 views

Related Posts

See All