Jingle all the way

FE Online Posted online: Wednesday, Dec 04, 2013 at 0000 hrs
Mumbai : With Christmas just round the corner, plans for the festive season has already begun. Some like to celebrate it in the orthodox traditional style, while for others it is the time to attend some of the most happening parties in town. Here is the list of top five destinations in India, which are the best places to be on Christmas eve.

1. Mizoram

With a whopping 90.5 per cent Christian population, Christmas in this mountainous state has to be a big celebration. Every household becomes a part of the festive mood during December. Ever since its inception, Christianity has inspired the living style and social customs of Mizoram people. The streets of the capital city, Aizawl have resplendent festive looks. All the churches organise the traditional Christmas masses and special services.

Places to visit: Aizawl, Tamdil, Champai, Reiek

Cuisine: Mizo people love non-veg, the local delicacies are Bai, chhangban and sawhchiar

2. Goa

Be it any time of the year, for any celebration, what can be a better destination than Goa. Goa has an exhaustive range of activities during Christmas. Goa has many pubs and discs where there are grand Christmas celebrations. You can also celebrate in an adventurous style with a mixed bag of water sports like snorkeling, para sailing, water skiing, etc.

Places to visit: Calangute, Baga, Anjuna, Panjim city

Cuisine: Goan roast beef, mussels rawa fried, sorak, Bibinca

3. Pondicherry

Known as the French Riviera of the east, this small union territory has its own charm and way of celebrating Christmas. A tinge of French culture can be seen in their celebration. Pondicherry celebrates this festive season in a calm and quite manner. Houses and streets are decorated with seasonal decorations and brilliant illuminating lights. The Church authorities organise Christmas midnight masses and also you may find candlelight processions headed by the priest.

Places to visit: Aurbindo Ashram, 19th Century Light House, French War Memorial, French Fort Louis

Cuisine: Pouillanbaisse, giogot daube, creole aubergine curry, smoked eggplant

4. Dadra and Nagar Haveli

A Portugal territory in India till 1961, Dadra and Nagar Haveli has memorable Christmas celebrations. The Church of Our Lady of Piety here dates back to 1886-89, and is a magnificent church known for its architecture and archways. The capital city of Silvassa has a Roman catholic church which is built in the Portuguese style and famous for the midnight mass. This is a place where one can enjoy Christmas as well as explore many local tourist attractions.

Places to visit: Hirwavan garden, Tribal Museum, Silvassa

Cuisine: Paunk, kadi, Khaman Dhokla, Doodh pak. Influenced by the neighbouring state gujrat

5. Mumbai

Mumbai has a very old tradition of featuring in almost every list. Jokes apart, Mumbai can be regarded as one of the best destination to celebrate Christmas. With churches like Mount Mary's Basilica, Gloria Church, Saint Andrew's church, Saint Thomas's Cathedral to name a few, Mumbai is known for its mid night masses and candle marches. For the party freaks, Mumbai is well known for its night life, almost all pubs and lounges have special parties and offers for Christmas. The most inexpensive and exciting way of celebrating Christmas in Mumbai is to come down to Marine Drive where the whole place is bustling in a festive ambiance.

Places to visit : Mount Mary's Church, Saint Andrew's Church, Marine Drive, pubs in South Mumbai

Cuisine: Christmas pudding, plum cake, marzipan, Christmas turkey

Word of Advise: Be it any region, state or Union Territory, wine is a must in the Christmas Celebration feast.