Christmas or 'Burra Din'
is truly a big day in Kolkata. The festivities begin with the first hint
of winter in late November. Stalls selling Christmas decorations spring
up like mushrooms all around Kolkata especially in the famous New
Market area. What a treat it is to the eye and heart to see Christmas
trees, Santas, trinkets, tinsels, reindeer, bells, holly leaves,
candles, twinkling lights in the stalls. People whatever be their faith
make a beeline for these decorations.
There is a cheer in the air
and it only intensifies with the chill setting into the city. Park
Street, Bow Barracks and nearly the entire city gets decked up to
welcome the Yuletide. Twinkling lights transform the city into an
enchanting fairyland. Music and laughter peals complete the picture. The
entire city joins the Anglo-Indian Community of Kolkata in ushering in
the happy season.
Santa Claus is coming to town
and chocolates are an intrinsic part of Christmas celebrations. Bakers
get to work months ahead of the season as the demand is very high during
this month. Iconic patisseries like Flurys or bakeries like Nahoum
have record sales every year. Most renowned bakeries remain open for 24
hours to cope with the maddening rush. Queues in front of popular
bakeries are seen and some even ration it to two cakes per head.
name has got to be mentioned in the cake context of Christmas
celebrations in Kolkata – Barua Bakery. This bakery was responsible for
bringing Christmas cake to every common man’s home during the season. At
one time their Christmas cake weighing 450 grams would cost four annas!
Now there is many a bakery in Kolkata serving fancy cakes but Barua
Bakery continues to bake cakes for the common man at an unbelievable low
What is Christmas without some rum balls from Nahoum?
popular are bakeries with traditional ovens especially in the Park
Circus area of Kolkata. The concept is to make your own cake and get it
baked at the bakers’ oven. Many families have their own special recipes
for Christmas cakes that have been carefully handed down through
If there is a name that is popular with Kolkata as
far as traditional cakes are concerned it is the 80 year old Saldanha
Bakery and Confectionery. Their cakes are as good as “home-made” said a
patron for years.
Gifting or exchanging gifts is a very
important part of this festive season. Not just for family and friends
many make a special effort to gift the underprivileged and the poor.
Cakes and chocolates are exchanged along with gifts wrapped in beautiful
wrapping paper. Greeting cards though now facing stiff competition from
digital medium have a home run during this season.
Kolkata decked up for Christmas
Singing of carols and midnight mass is attended by Christians and people of other faith alike.
trees are put up at most homes and decorated with lot of care and
cheer. Gifts are packed and kept under the tree. Santa Claus is a figure
that young and old believe in and is a part of everyone’s childhood
that is never given up even with the years adding up.
For the last few years, the West Bengal
government has been taking major initiatives to give a
formal shape to the Christmas celebrations that happen all around the
city. The government, along with a host of institutions and corporates,
organise a yearly Christmas gala on Park Street called Kolkata Christmas Festival. This year it is being held from December 16 to January 2. Entire Park Street is decked up with lights and wears a carnival
look. Live performance by bands, singers and artists are organised. Food stalls bring people in droves too. Singing of Christmas carols and hymns are a big part of the
Christmas celebrations on Park Street. This year too the festivities are being held on a grand scale.
across the city are chock-a-block full as people love to enjoy a meal
with their friends and family during this season. The clubs in the city
have month-long festivities planned for their members and guests.
there is one regret, it is just that the good times fly away too soon
on the wings of the angels that descend on Kolkata every Christmas
Have yourself a merry little Christmas
May your heart be light
In a year our troubles will be out of sight
From now on
Merry Christmas from Team M3.tv!
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