The 'season to be jolly', as it is popularly known, is inching closer. With festive fervour in the air, people across the nation, specifically in the southern region of India, are in the midst of preparing a royal welcome for Jesus Christ and Santa Claus.
Christmas is a festival that marks the birth of Jesus Christ, and observed on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world. Religious context aside, this festival is known to be one for sharing gifts and spreading happiness across all communities.
Keeping up the tradition, the people of the nation are doing just the same.
In Thiruvanathapuram, the capital of Kerala, Christmas markets have been set up and are already witnessing a large number of people coming to pick a tree and decorations of their choice.
Shops this time of the year have a plethora of decorative items to offer, right from colourful streamers, face cut outs of Santa clause, the red Santa cap, stockings, vibrant stars, fairy lights and so much more. This year, vendors say LED lights-infused Christmas stars have seen maximum demand, followed by sculptures of Mother Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus, all made of Plaster of Paris (POP).
"This year, Christmas stars with LED lights have seen maximum sale, as they catch the attention of the buyers immediately. The sale is not as badly affected by the Goods and Services Tax (GST), however, there has been marginal impact. We are expecting sales to go up in the coming days," said Rajesh, a vendor.
Meanwhile, in Kochi, the Centre for Enrichment and Empowerment hosted Christmas celebrations for differently abled students from across the city. Over 140 students from four schools in Kochi participated in the function, and were seen merrily clapping their hands and tapping their feet to the tune of 'Jingle Bells'.
As cake forms an important part of Christmas celebrations, a theme-based cake show was organised in Coimbatore city of Tamil Nadu, where cakes of different varieties such as badminton theme, cricket theme, sea coral-shaped cakes and so on were displayed.
These cakes, the organiser said, will be displayed till New Year, after which they will be donated to orphanages.