THE season to be jolly is here and the city is awash with merriment. From special curated menus at restaurants to dances, carol singing and festive decorations in bazaars, Christmas fever has gripped the city. Long before Christmas trees are decked up or the feast is brought out to serve all, choir groups of carol singers herald the beginning of festivities with their songs. While traditionally carol singers have been focusing on songs on the birth and life of Jesus, these days newer songs and themes are redefining Christmas carols.
Krusachya Kavita, a group that presents the gospel journey of Christmas music in Marathi, Hindi and English, began with their 10-day musical programme from December 20. “We depict all the aspects of the life of Jesus and the journey of Bible to India. To add to this, moral aspects and social aspects affecting the life of people, like injustice to women and the oppressed class of the society, also form parts of our programme,” said Dr Amit Tribhuvan, who heads the group.
Mcdonell Baptista, who belongs to St. Xavier’s Church, is a member of the Church Youth Group. The group comprises a team of around 20 youngsters who sing carols on the theme of the birth of Jesus and will also be decorating a crib in the church explaining why carol singing is such a precious tradition. “People really look forward to carol singing as it amplifies the Christmas spirit. It’s a delight for people who are unable to visit the Church as we bring the festivities to their doorstep,” said Baptista.
Decorations form an integral part of the festivities and the streets of Camp-M G Road, which is one of the main areas for Christmas shopping, looks like it has been painted in colours of red and white. From street vendors selling Santa caps to themed hairbands, a variety of Christmas-themed products are in high demand. From tree decorations to toppers for cakes, snowmen and reindeers for decor, LED lights, holly berries decor and more, the shops are offering a wide variety of products.
“The highlight of this season is Italian crib sets, with the size of the figures ranging from 4 inches to a foot. Life-sized Santa Claus and snowman installed with lights are very much in demand,” said J P Demello, a shop owner in Camp area.
In fact, shops aren’t the only places where one can buy Christmas decor since bazaars are equally popular around this time. Noella Kambli, the owner at Lady Bird Events, recently organised the Jingle Bells Christmas Bazaar that offered goodies, jewellery, lifestyle products and Christmas decoration and artefacts ranging from handmade reefs and hollies to mistletoes. “In keeping with the spirit of Christmas, the season of giving, part of proceeds went to charity,” she said.
To add to the celebrations, many restaurants in the city are offering special Christmas dishes and special items like pork ribs, turkey dishes and essential Christmas desserts to go with it, like plum pudding and rum cakes. At the Poona Goan Institute, where a food bazaar with Goan food specialties, like Chicken Xacuti, Sorpotel and Chicken Vindaloo, was hosted, a dance party, along with a specially curated food menu, will be held on Christmas, said Charmaine Ann Lazarus, owner of the institute.