The festival of Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ and conveys his message of love, tolerance and brotherhood. It's a celebration of humanity and mankind. Though Christmas is a primary festival of the Christian calendar but still it has a special significance in everyone's life. It is celebrated as a universal festival through out the nation. The first mention of 25th December as the birth date of Jesus occurred in 336 A.D. in an early Roman calendar. That day onwards this date is celebrated as the birth date of Jesus. In India this festival has a special significance since India is known for its unity in diversity worldwide. The celebration of Christmas shows that even people from different religion takes part in Christmas celebration just as the Indian Christians do. And because of European influence on the country for so long the religion has spread across the country. The doctrines and philosophies of Christianity converted people of many sects to Christianity and today, there is a large Christian community thriving in India that has adopted the Christians festivals as a part of Indian culture as well. However, many of the rituals of these Christian festivals have been modified to suit the climatic conditions of the land.
Christmas is the most important festival of Indian Christians. Christians in India decorate banana or mango trees instead of traditional pine tree. They also light small oil-burning lamps as Christmas decorations and fill their churches with red flowers. As a part of their celebration they give Christmas gifts to their family members and token of money to poor people as charity. People decorate their houses and churches with poinsettia flowers for the midnight mass. In South India, the Christians put small clay lamps on the rooftops and walls of their houses at Christmas, just as the Hindus do during their festival called Diwali. In Goa, all hotels are jampacked during Christmas period and one must plan well in advance if planning a stay in one of the Goa hotels. The local Indian customs and tradition and customs have a heavy impact on the Indian Christian. And this is visible in their decoration as many Indian Christians decorate their houses with mango leaves. Churches often have an Evening Service on Christmas and are fabulously decorated with poinsettias and candles. Caroling processions on streets and thoroughfares can also be seen.