December is a month of at most importance for me. The pleasant cold weather, end of the year, my birthday ...there are indeed many reasons .The season has always offered energy, hope and a lot for me. But what makes this season most auspicious is nothing but Christmas! These are the days that everyone would love to be at home. These are the days that offer you a lot, especially when you are in Kannur. The day marks the birth of Lord Jesus. The season is characterised by a lot of merrymaking and sharing.
Like Onam, - official festival of Kerala- Christmas too imparts a festive theme to the streets of Kannur. Glittering Christmas stars hanging in front of shops welcomes the serene season in Kannur. As days advance, neon lights will begin to clad those shops in vivid colours. Brand new cakes, with wide variety of flavour and shapes flood the bakeries.
Speaking about cakes of Kannur, the first thing that comes to my mind is Thalassery. It is the birth place of cakes in Kerala - The right place to find the perfect cakes in Kerala. They are one of the few tastes that you should never miss during the Christmas season.
As days become closer, Christmas trees along with Santa Claus will welcome you to the big shops. If lucky enough, you are not going to miss the Santa parades in the evening. As it the time for big discount everyone will be happy to fill their shopping carts. The best time to spend on the streets will be the Christmas Eve, with charm and pleasure at its summit .
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Various carol teams accompanied by mind-blowing bands will patrol the streets. You can find tableaux depicting the holy birth at prominent parts of town. If you want more fun, switch to parks and local areas where you can enjoy the talents of native artists. Beaches are other points of interest. As Christmas closes in, fine beach sand turns into wonderful sculptures. Many artists will gather on the beach, making Santa Clause sculptures and Christmas messages in the sand.
On Christmas Eve, skies would light up with glittering fireworks and the cool breeze provides you a special feeling you don’t want to miss.
During the Christmas season, houses transform a lot .Usually the Christmas stars adorn each home irrespective of religion heralding the arrival of December. Come Christmas Eve, cribs of various sizes along with splendid Christmas trees –a comparatively new addition adds up a serene beauty to the homes. In certain Parishes in Kannur, crib making is a competition; in these areas, beauty and technical skills behind some cribs will blow your mind. As the Christmas evening arrives, carol teams visit each household with melodious carol songs and greetings adding mirth to their Christmas celebrations.
There are different sets of carol teams with a witty guy dressed up as Santa Claus with a white long beard and the bright long red gown covering a made up pot belly. Since it is a decent way to make enough money for their Christmas celebrations along with a jolly evening of singing, dancing, and a bit of troubling the neighbourhood for money, usually teenagers of the locality lead these carol team with drums and other instruments either rented or provided by the parish. By late night Carol teams visit all houses, and everyone will move to Churches for the holy night service.
The cathedrals and churches are the epicentre of Christmas celebration in Kannur. By 23rd morning itself celebrations begin at Churches. The first thing would be an enormous Christmas star usually made by YMCA members. Usually life-size cribs made by real people masquerading as different characters. In some churches you can find a miniature model of the entire Bethlehem village. Countless stars decorate the church premises and each tree in the compound becomes a Christmas tree. Local bands compete with their newly composed carols songs .Usually many interesting competitions are held, including carol song competition, Santa of the night and Christmas trees with gifts to test your luck. Every family will attend the night mass, giving a carnival atmosphere to Church premises. At midnight of 24th December Holy mass begins. After holy mass, Parish committee will organize a grand firework show.
Now, moving on to the Christmas day, 25th is a day dedicated to food and visits. People visit friends and relatives and stock the refrigerators with a variety of Christmas cakes.
A type of fruit cakes, called Plum cake is most common among them. A Christmas lunch or dinner at a Christian home is one that you should never miss. Spicy flavours made of chicken, pork, beef and fish along with a variety of rice dishes and traditional appams, cakes offer a fantastic taste combination beyond description. In some areas you can find home-made grape wines or bell fruit wines .It’s a self-sustaining tradition that many Christians follow. Apart from adding a new flavour to Christmas dinner, they are organic and one hundred percent healthy. If I go on about local Christmas cuisines, It would be difficult for me to limit the words. The joyous season of Christmas ushers in hope and a festive mood of the people of Kannur.
These are the days I always love to spend in my native place, Kannur. Apart from all the descriptions jolly, a lot of charity works as well as good-will acts are carried out during Christmas. Many organisations conduct Christmas celebrations in orphanages and other economically deprived areas. In the leadership of Bishop Christmas message was delivered in Central Prison. Apart from Kannur, similar thing happens in all parts of Kerala. Maybe the communal unity to celebrate every festival and to let your neighbour celebrate them makes Kerala deserving of the title ‘Gods Own Country’.
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