Although India isn't a predominantly Christian country, Christmas is still widely celebrated. These Christmas photos capture the spirit across the country.
Christmas Decorations Made in Kashmir
In Kashmir, Muslim artisans are renowned for their Papier-mâché products, usually with exquisite floral patterns. However, they make Christmas decorations too. Business has grown over the last couple of decades, as people prefer unique hand-painted items rather than mass-produced ones. Some of the decorations are packaged and sold in markets in India but most of them are exported across the world. They can be purchased online as well.
Christmas Decorations for Sale
Christmas markets come up all over India, filled to the brim with eye-catching decorations.
People dressed up as Santa are a widespread feature during Christmas in India. Some of them look rather scary!
Santa Hats for Sale
Street vendors sell Christmas items by the roadside in front of the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Delhi on Christmas Day.
Religious Pictures for Sale
Pictures of Lord Jesus and Mother Mary are also popular items sold during Christmas in India.
People gather to light candles and celebrate Christmas at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Delhi. Yes, there's a Santa there too! Sacred Heart is one of the oldest and largest churches in Delhi. Prayers and Christmas Eve Midnight Mass take place on a grand scale there.
Live Music and Santa Claus
A shopping center in India entertains the crowd with live musicians, and Santa of course!
Christmas Parade in Kerala
The Cochin Carnival in Kerala's Fort Kochi coincides with Christmas. It concludes with the burning of a massive Santa effigy at midnight on New Year's Eve (locally called Pappanji, which means "grandpa" or "old man" in Portuguese) and a huge street procession on New Year's Day.These theyyam performers are getting into the spirit with their special decorations (notice the tinsel and white Santa beard?).
Christmas at Church in Kerala
Kerala has a relatively large Christian population, so Christmas is widely celebrated there. The festivities in the square next to Santa Cruz Basilica in Kochi draw a substantial crowd.
Midnight Mass in Mumbai
Christmas Eve Midnight Mass takes place at school grounds and churches across Mumbai. Here are nine popular Mumbai churches for Midnight Mass.
Christmas Mass in India
Priests perform Christmas Mass at the Holy Family Catholic Church in Srinagar, Kashmir. White Christmas is often a highlight there, as snow is common at that time of year.
Family Christmas in Mumbai
A Catholic family in Mumbai celebrates Christmas with a nativity scene.