Thiruvananthapuram: With just hours left for Christmas, Kerala is all prepared to celebrate Christmas.
While shops are filled with cakes, in some Christian homes wine is also being fermented and will be served on Christmas Day.
Likewise, members of Churches and of late, Clubs have also started going around after sunset to homes to sing the Christmas carol songs, which is now become a revenue generation event too.
A ride through any road in the state one can see all the popular Christmas decorations items like Baubles, Christmas Lights, Stockings, Santa Dress, Santa Hat, Wreaths, Tree skirts, Garlands, Tinsels, Balls, Bells, Stars all hanging for sale in small and big shops.
In yesteryears, the sight of a glowing star in front of a house after dusk falls can be easily identified that the home is of a Christian.
“Today, it’s not that, irrespective of religion, practically most homes in the state spot a Christmas star glowing in front of homes. This is largely due to the Christmas celebrations now extensively being held in practically all educational institutions and then when back home, kids and children all demand their parents to put a star and in most places a decorated Christmas tree,” said a school teacher whose school had a Christmas evening get together of students, parents and teachers.
On December 25th early morning, Churches will be crowded and in most places, the mass gets over by sunrise when the priest in some churches hands over a piece of cake and a glass of wine.
Then it’s a mad rush to get home as the special Christmas breakfast will have either the traditional Kallu appam (made with toddy and a paste of coconut in the shape of a small dosa) or the laced appam, which is made using coconut milk.
Then there will be one or more non-vegetarian dishes which include beef roast, duck, chicken or mutton and the vegetable stew besides steamed banana and an egg roast.
With changing times, at Kochi, in some homes, turkey has now become common.
In the hilly district of Wayanad, the Catholic churches at Manthanvady have come out with a circular that Christmas mass should be over by December 24th around 10.30 pm and not to have it in the wee hours of December 25th.
This change has been effected due to the presence of wild animals coming out into the human settlement areas.
Districts in central Kerala – home to a large number of Christians who make up around 18 per cent of the state’s 32 million population.
Catholics are the dominant group, comprising 50 per cent of the Christians in the state, followed by the Orthodox Church with a population of around 2.5 million. Jacobites, Mar Thoma, the Church of South India and the Pentecostal churches make up the rest.