There are three major Christian festivals celebrated in India namely Christmas, Good Friday and Easter. Among these three festivals, Christmas is the most significant by Christians. On the day of 25th December in 336 AD Lord Jesus Christ was born. It is the holiest day by Christian and they celebrate with great enjoyment and enthusiasm. The Good Friday is traditionally celebrated to remember the Jesus death. Christians believe that Jesus was crucified and died on a Friday. Easter, also called as Pascha, is the Resurrection Day of Jesus usually celebrated between late March and late April.
Major Indian Christian festivals are celebrated more where they resided frequently. Christianity is the third largest religion in India (after Hinduism and Islam) with a population of about 24.5 Millions which comprise about 2.36% of total Indians. Christian communities are not living so frequently as Hindu or Muslim resided in all over India but the states of North Eastern India (like Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh), Goa, Kerala and some parts of Mumbai City are highly populated by Christians. Beside of these regions, rest part of India also inhabited by Christians but with a lower percentage of population.
About Jesus : when Joseph and Mary were returning to their village Bethlehem as the ordered of their emperor then they took shelter in a cave for rest, where some people kept their animals. Joseph made a nice bed to sleep for Mary using the straw as she was pregnant. That night, Mary's baby Jesus was born. Jesus' life went almost unnoticed until the age of 30. After 30’s, Jesus become famous to showing his eternal power and he began to teach and heal, and perform many miracles. His reputation spread widely, and people began to flock to him. The Roman rulers were furious to see his popularity. At least, the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate punished to Jesus sentence to death by crucifixion.
Christmas, the most popular festival in the world is celebrated to remind the message of love, humanity and brotherhood, when devotees pray with their priest for reminds the message of Christ. It is only a day when whole world is decorated with lights, candles and flowers. Christmas in India is declared as a national holiday and the people of all communities (Hindus, Muslims, Sikh, etc) enjoyed it forget of their religion along with the Christians.
Popular modern customs of the holiday include gift-giving, music, an exchange of Christmas cards, church celebrations, a special meal, and the display of various decorations; including Christmas trees, lights, garlands, mistletoe, nativity scenes, and holly. There is a custom of decorating Christmas trees during the festival of Christmas. Christmas tree reminds us of the evergreen trees covered with snow that sparkle like silver in moon light, when the sky is clear.
Christmas day is celebrated on 25th December every year in India with great pleasure and the one day previous celebration of Christmas Evening on 24th December also enjoyable. In Southern India, Christians often put small oil burning clay lamps on the flat roofs of their homes to show their neighbors that Jesus is the light of the world. In north-west India, the tribal Christians of the Bhil folk, go out over the night for a week of Christmas to sing their own hymns. They go to surrounding villages to telling the Christmas story.
Lots of the Christians in Mumbai go to visit their near ones to celebrate the festival and wishes happy Christmas. Every household also makes sure that they have a stock of home made sweets ready to visitors. Goa comes alive as decorations go up in every nook and corner. It is not only the state but also in the whole India celebrates the festival. Cathedrals and churches design the crib, ready to bring home the savior. With over a hundred churches, it is in Goa that you will get the real feeling of Christmas.
On the day of Good Friday christens arrange a communion assembly in the church. They start prayer for Jesus from noon (12 o'clock) and continue for the next three hours. They believe that lord Jesus died at three in the afternoon. So, they called the three hour Devotion as "Three Hours' Agony". This three hour service is consists of reading passages from the Gospel, about the Seven Last Words of Jesus. Each reading is followed by a message from the priest, a few minutes of silent meditation and a hymn. The service ends with the journey to the cross.
On this day some people also fast or abstain from meat and they break it with a special type drink which naturally made of leaves, vinegar, and other ingredients. This drink is for everyone to taste after the service over. Other symbols of Good Friday include black cloth used to cover the cross, paintings and statues in churches and some homes to signify sorrow. Some people make a bare appearance in their homes by removing all shiny objects. Hundreds of Pilgrims carrying heavy wooden crosses trekked to their nearer church. St Thomas Church of Malayattoor Hillock is holiest site for Christian in India. It was constructed by Apostle St Thomas who preached Christ's message in India.
Good Friday in India : Traditionally, Good Friday is a Christian festival and declared as a Central Government Holiday or Gazetted Holiday in India. The festival Good Friday specially celebrates in those state where Christian live mainly like Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nicobar Islands and Nagaland.
On 2016: 25th March, 2016 (Friday)
On 2017: 14th April, 2017 (Friday)
On 2018: 30th March, 2018 (Friday)
On 2019: 19th April, 2019 (Friday)
On 2020: 10th April, 2020 (Friday)
Easter also called Pascha is another important festival of Christians. They believe on the day of Easter Jesus Christ resurrected from on the next Sunday after his Crucification. This festival usually termed as a moveable feast and it follows the cycle of the moon and celebrates each year during the end March to late April. Literally Easter festival refers to the season of the church year called the Easter Season which lasted for the 40 days from Ash Wednesday and continue for 40 days till the Good Friday started.
The first week of the Easter Season is called the Easter Week. Easter festival also mark the end of Lent (a season of prayer and penance), or the arrival of the spring season after the chilling months of winter. During this festival season Indian smallest state Goa take a festive look and lots of Christian devotees gather here to make a religious trip here.
On 2016: 27th March, 2016 (Sunday)
On 2017: 16th April, 2017 (Sunday)
On 2018: 1st April, 2018 (Sunday)