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Tinsel & Tradition – Celebrating Christmas And New Year In India

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A glistening glass bobble hanging from the tree, a striped blue box nestled underneath it, a bright yellow star perched atop… these are some of the most beloved Christmas associations that we hold onto dearly! The decadent texture of plum cake, the sweet slurp of port wine, the crackling taste of turkey or roast chicken… special memories that we can almost taste. If we’ve got you thinking about baby Jesus’s birthday, we’re on the right track. Hold onto that thought. Let’s move on to the wildly anticipated countdown to New Year. The excruciatingly thrilling chorus of 10, 9, 8, 7. The shiny streamers, the quirky props, the neon lights and the outrageously cool outfits!

Have we got you just a little excited?

But, here’s something to ponder over. Have you ever considered how the magical holiday of Christmas and the adrenaline filled festival of New Year is celebrated in other parts of the country?

Hop onto Thomas Cook’s Christmas and New Year train and visit some of the best destinations across India.

Stop 1: Christmas


Image Source : paradise-kerala.com

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and the state of Kerala knows how to make it oh-so-special! Heritage churches such as Kochi’s Santa Cruz Basilica is festooned each year with twinkling fairy lights that create a warm and enchanting atmosphere. Midnight masses go on in quiet splendour across the state’s quaint chapels. Natives ornament the outside of their homes with ethereal stars and lanterns. Sumptuous fruit cake is lovingly prepared and shared at local gatherings such as the charming Christmas fair at Little Flower Hall, Trivandrum. Mystical street processions, like that of the Cochin Carnival, induces feelings of adventure and jubilation!

Suggested Read : 6 Most Exuberant Places to Visit in Kerala

West Bengal

Its’ the season to be holly-jolly and West Bengal sure knows it! Kolkata illuminates like a gorgeous tiffany lamp during the Christmas period. Rows of glittering lights and streamers garland Park Street, one the city’s celebratory hubs. Iconic bakeries such as Flurys sell delectable cakes in snow man and tree shapes. The Kolkata Christmas Festival, with its vibrant stalls and installations, infuses excitement and thrill in the air. Saint Paul’s Cathedral, with its alluring gothic architecture, glistens in the moonlight as mass is offered. Just off central avenue, local Anglo-Indians partake in the festivities in their own unique manner.

Suggested Read : Places to Visit in Kolkata; Let the City of Joy Mesmerize You


Image Source : thehindu.com

The French capital of India uses its European charm to win the hearts of more than just Christians! Puducherry is simply entrancing during this season. Mission street is bejewelled with colossal Christmas trees, magnificent pixie lights, fairy-tale like wooden stalls and open boutiques streaming tinsel and sweet carols. Restaurants serve traditional mouth-watering delicacies such as turkey, eggnog, cookies and cake. The atmosphere gently sparkles with spirituality and joy. Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges are some of the many classical churches that hold beautiful services. The sand studded beaches host colourful celebrations too.

Must Read : These Top 8 Beaches in Pondicherry are Every Beach Lover’s Paradise

Daman and Diu

diu daman Christmas
Image Source : thewire.in

The Brother towns of Daman and Diu partake in the grandeur of Christmas with equal amounts of fervour. Portuguese influences shine through the preparations and celebrations, reminiscent of the ancient ages. Stunning heritage churches such as Saint Paul’s Church, Se Cathedral and Church of Our Lady of Rosary offer a slice of the spiritual pie, as reflected in the soulful midnight masses. Diu’s Public Fair bustles with festive brilliance, as throngs of individuals come to partake in scrumptious treats and delightful handicrafts. Corrindinho, a traditional Portuguese dance form is performed with elegance and gusto.

Recommended Read : Daman and Diu: the glistening duo of western India


Shillong Christmas - Police Bazaar
Image Source : theshillongtimes.com

All is calm, all is bright in Meghalaya’s majestic Shillong. A little town with a big heart, it revives the quote “all good things come in small packages”. During the sacred season of Christmas, the region teems with brightly coloured potpourri, sinful fruit cake, soul-wrenching carols and a glaze of topaz hued light. Police Bazaar glitters with toy stalls and food shops, all draped in red, green and gold streamers. Bands play live gospel music, locals and tourists come together to sing, the atmosphere is cloaked in unity and togetherness… the Christmas spirit is preserved!

Suggested Read : North East – The land of undulating scenic beauty

Stop 2: New Year’s Eve

Andaman and Nicobar Islands

cruise-dinner - Andaman
Image Source : blulifesailing.com/

The golden, sand hugging, shores of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands sing and dance well into the New Year. The archipelago is set ablaze with fun, frolic and oodles of fantasy. The air entices, with the perfect blend of cool and pleasant. From fabulous yacht shindigs to candle lit cruise dinners and luxurious pool parties, there’s a kaleidoscope of tropical festivities to choose from. Locals and foreigners participate in all things beachy, drinking in the salty air with a zest for life. Fresh and flavourful seafood along with exceptional cocktails add to the wonderment of this fine NYE destination!

Himachal Pradesh

Image Source : getsetcamp.com

A new year means another opportunity to create cherished memories, ones that stand fiercely apart from the humdrum of societal pressures. Himachal Pradesh celebrates the end of an era with much pizazz! The snowy hamlets of Mcleod Ganj, Manali and Kasol offer travellers the chance to engage in adventure sports, relaxation and socialisation, should they choose too. From camping under a glitter-storm of silver stars, to grooving at an electronic music festival, the state chalks out special itineraries and plans for all those who visit. Walking in a winter wonderland, is a tune that brilliantly defines the awe-inspiring sugar-coated landscapes of Himachal.

Must Read : Here’s Why You Should Go Camping in Rishikesh with Your Friends


Image Source : ft.lk

The best is yet to come and that is profoundly true in case of Karnataka. New Year celebrations in this culturally rich state differ like the grains of sand on its beaches. The anticipation of an exciting new date is especially enjoyable in a region such as Gokarna! With moon shaped coast lines, bluer than blue waters, tear shedding tranquillity and intense spiritual energies, this exotic and plump region is especially exhilarating during December!

Rajasthan, Ideal Destination to Celebrate Christmas And New Year

rajasthan eve new year
Image Source : dailyhunt.in

This New Year’s resolution should be to fashion unique and memorable experiences! And, what better place to begin with than the state of Rajasthan? This royal desert is steeped in history and culture, but is also a thrilling entertainment hub. From electric celebrations at the most opulent of hotels to the most rustic of forts, the region offers several delicious juxtapositions. Camel riding, fire breathing and belly dancing are some of the exotic desert performances that occur. Jaipur’s Nahargarh Fort, Jaisalmer’s Suryagarh Palace and Sawai Madhopur’s Oberoi Vanyavilas are some of the numerous spots to host New Year extravaganzas.

Suggested Read : 7 unique places to celebrate the New Year in style

So, are you ready to jingle and sleigh? Check out Thomas Cook’s amazing tour packages and have a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

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