Christmas Comes to Delhi

by admin on December 20, 2012

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Santa ClausAlthough the day is usually quite cold, (in 2011,  it was 2.90 C) you’ll find lots of chaps in red dresses wearing the famous Santa Claus cap some times carrying a sack full of goodies for kids, frolicking around in Delhi. Yes, season for giving Christmas gifts has come. The rumour mills may tell you that Santa Claus wore green till the advertisements of ‘Coke Cola’ came along, but pay no heed to such heresy in the season of gifting and merriment.  In fact, like the world over you’ll hear the strains of ‘Silent Night, Holy Night’ playing in most Churches from December 24 or Christmas eve,  which many non Christians refer to as ‘Bara din.’ You’ll also find that many people are smartly dressed in coats and ties, going towards the church they belong to, and pray in joy about the advent of Christ the Savior. You’ll see red five cornered stars are lit from many a window, while lots of lights and candles herald in the festive spirit of Christmas in Delhi.

Prayers are held in the Scared Heart Cathedral, Central Baptist Church, St. James Church, St. Lukes Church, St. Stephen’s Church and so many more that make up cosmopolitan Delhi. Last year, the Sacred Heart Cathedral celebrated its Centenary of Delhi, bringing much cheer to all the people that gathered. This year, like all years; you’ll hear the divine music by choirs accompanied by pianos, organs, guitars and percussion instruments fill the air. Some will sing hymns, others their own gospel songs, bringing a sense of peace on earth into the night atmosphere.

The malls will brim with people who want to do their Christmas shopping. Some of best malls to visit during the Yuletide season are the Epicenter, Great India Palace Mall, and City Select Walk among others. Though all malls are crowded, some will have carol singers dressed in prim and proper attires that bring about the feeling of a ‘Proper Christmas.’

For decorations like Christmas trees, ornamental hangings, candy canes, crystal balls and so on, Archies and C Lal & Sons (Jorbagh) along with shops at the Khan Market offer a decent fare. Archies also has the facility for online shopping, though there’s nothing better than going and doing the shopping yourself.  Although many pastry shops offer their own variety of Christmas cakes, puddings, mince pies, dark cakes, rum & raisin cakes; some of the well known shops and bakeries include: The Old Baker, La Baguette, Wengers  and Café Turtle, though one should check with the YMCA too. Look for a nice Yule Log for dessert, some of them are made really deliciously.  Almost every shopping window will feature a figure of Santa; pick one for your home where he looks most fabulous.Christmas Celebrations

All the five star hotels too, will be brimming to capacity with the usual Santa Claus in attendance. Some of the best places to celebrate the festive season are: Dublin nightclub at the Sheraton, The Royal Mirage at the Crown Plaza, Jynxxx at the Eros Intercontinental, F Bar & Lounge at the Ashoka, the Jaypee Vasant Continental  and so many more bars, pubs and nightclubs that Delhi is famous for.  As for the food, last year restaurants like the Double Tree at the Hilton served traditional slow roasted lamb leg filled with forest mushrooms and glazed chestnuts, and roasted fowl with exotic Japanese Futomaki rice and Hungarian-style lamb Goulash soup. The Indian Accent at the Manor had whipped up some fabulous gastronomical delights like blue cheese Naan, grilled zucchini with warm goat cheese, wild mushroom shorba and  tandoori Scottish salmon- just to name a few.  So, expect some epicurean delights this year too. Many famous and not so famous bands perform in these places, so in case you have a favourite, bookings have to be made early.

However, if by chance you are tired of midnight masses, Jingle bells, crowded places and ever rising prices, a good idea would be to book a car and sneak off to the hills with your family, somewhere where the snow is falling (yes, in the bleak mid winter) and celebrate a truly ‘White Christmas’. You could probably make up for the loss of partying, on New Year’s Eve.  We wish you all good things in life for the New Year.

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