The festival of universal love is here again. Christmas,
which is more than a festival is the solemn occasion to
remember Jesus, his life and ultimate sacrifice and his
message of compassion and brotherhood. The birth of Jesus
Christ on December 25 each year sees a variety of customs
To begin with there is the Christmas Star, the Christmas
tree, the Crib, the Christmas cake, presents, and of course,
Christmas Father. He is the star attraction for children and
is quite a fascinating personage, who claims above all to be
the very embodiment of the most vibrant and quintessence of
the gayest of all the festivals. With the children allowed
to occupy the central
stage, in the enchanted company of Christmas Father,
Christmas takes on the look of a festival of children.
Though the Christmas tree is a comparatively new addition to
Christmas celebrations in Kerala, it is the twinkling
Christmas star put up at Christian homes or shops which sets
the tone for a season of cheerfulness and joy.
The crib is a miniature production of the stable where Jesus
was born. It developed from the old practice of giving
dramatic expression to the events and the surroundings of
the birth of Christ.
In cathedrals and churches, the nativity of Jesus is enacted
through miniature models. The hymn 'Gloria in exelcis Deo'
is intoned admidst the explosion of crackers.Carols and
songs developed from nativity plays are sung. Priests hold
the Holy Mass in churches at midnight.
Before the Mass begins, an image of the child Jesus is
brought out by the priest, preceded by children holding
lighted candles that are placed in the crib. Hymns are sung
and crackers are burst to signify the coming of Jesus Christ
into the world.
Later in the day, there is a feast with delicacies. Cakes
are made at homes along with traditional Kerala sweets
making Christmas a traditional Kerala festival.