HOLLY JOLLY SEASON
During this time, Goans decorate their homes. Bright stars are hung outside shops and Catholic houses, the best tailors in town are glued to their sewing machines stitching Christmas dresses. Traditional sweets are prepared, and Christmas carols are played out loud - since it is officially the season to be jolly!
The doors of Goan households are welcomingly left open, with the main attraction being in the living room. No, not your beautiful Christmas tree, but the tray of homemade Christmas sweets that are kept on your teapoy: bebinca, dodol, kulkuls, pinagr and nevreos! – and, of course, a visit from that one neighbour that has taken it upon herself to judge which household has made the best nevreos this year!
FOOD, FUN & FESTIVITY
The church bells are rung once Mass has ended. People wish each other, and the air is filled with the echo of people exclaiming, “Merry Christmas!”.
Gifts under the Christmas tree and a heavy lunch, inclusive of some pulao, roasted chicken and salad, is a must, among other dishes. Primarily a family feast, where there is bonding over food and laughter.
The season of Christmas goes on until January 6. During this period, friends and families gather all the children and youngsters, get into their vehicles and take them on a drive through the star-lit roads of South Goa.
The villages here, take pride in making the best life like cribs in Goa, which walk us through the journey of the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem.
Traditions are a part of us no matter where we go. But the unexplained energy that gets us out of bed on December 1; the dust allergy that your father ignores while he dusts off those old CDs; trying hard not to laugh while your uncle dozes at midnight Mass religiously every year; the smile on your aunt’s face when you compliment the dress that she has stitched for herself; the enthusiasm shown by the married men while trying to score a goal despite having a beer belly; and the hug that your father gives your mother when he thinks that nobody is watching, are all examples of how Christmas magically brings out the best in us.