A Homegrown Guide To Celebrating Christmas In Kolkata

A Homegrown Guide To Celebrating Christmas In Kolkata

'Tis the season to be jolly

Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la!

Put on your Santa cap with bells on for Christmas is almost here already. Bring out the homemade wine or eggnog, sing some carols, decorate the Christmas tree in your house, watch some Christmas-themed movies, or spend time as you wish in this winter holiday season with your loved ones. No matter your religion or which part of the world you belong to, almost everyone comes together to celebrate Christmas. After all, everyone loves a long vacation. In my hometown Kolkata, it is celebrated with much gusto and exuberance as you can expect from the residents of the city of joy. While everyone has their own unique way to celebrate the winter holidays, here is a guide highlighting the quintessentially Christmas things to do if you are in Kolkata:

I. Christmas Cakes From Nahoum’s

Located in the New Market Area, this famous Jewish Bakery is no secret to the people of Kolkata. During Christmas, you can see long queues of people waiting outside this iconic bakery to buy yummy Christmas treats. The Christmas special rich fruit cakes fly off the racks during this time. There are also delicious pastries, patties, sweets, madeira cakes, and fish rolls to try out from here. A lot of the workers in the bakery are Muslims and most of the buyers are Hindus, as it is the majority religion in the city. During Christmas, you can witness a wonderful scene of secularism as Hindu buyers queue up to buy cakes made by Muslims for a Jewish bakery on the occasion of a Christian festival.

Christmas special cakes from Nahoum's
Christmas special cakes from Nahoum'sTelegraph India

II. A Tour Of The City’s Churches & Cathedrals

Kolkata is no stranger to wonderful colonial architecture and one of the best examples are the churches and cathedrals in the city. From small churches and cathedrals to big ones, there are many to visit. On Christmas, they are decked up and witness a huge turnout. You might not be able to secure a seat, but a visit is totally worth it because of all the lights and decorations. St. Paul’s Cathedral in Maidan, with its Indo-Gothic architecture, is the most famous one to visit during Christmas in Kolkata. Some other beautiful churches include Holy Rosary Cathedral in Barabazar, St. Thomas’s Church, and St. Xavier’s Chapel in Park Street, among others.

St. Paul’s Cathedral
St. Paul’s CathedralOutlook India

III. Bow Barracks Christmas Festival

Just behind the Bowbazaar Police Station, take a narrow lane and you shall step into a world that turns into a magical landscape during Christmas. Bow Barracks has a rich colonial history and houses the Anglo-Indian community of the city. On Christmas, every year, Bow Barracks is adorned with lights, and Christmas trees, and the festive spirit is in full swing. The residents of Bow Barracks brew their famously acclaimed homemade wines which include grapevine, ginger wine, and adventurous dragonfruit wine. Every year people from all over the world come to this tiny universe to taste and also take home some of the best wine obtainable. I’m sure you wouldn’t want to miss out on this experience.

Christmas celebrations at Bow Barracks
Christmas celebrations at Bow BarracksOutlook India

IV. A Walk Around Park Street And Allen Park

Be sure to undertake this adventure if you are not fazed out by large crowds and I mean really large crowds. Allen Park hosts a Christmas special carnival each year with music, dance, and celebrations. The entire street starting from Allen park and all the way to the end of Park Street is decorated with lights and festive displays. People from outside the city also pour in to celebrate at Park Street. Park Street also has the best food and drinks to go with the festive spirit. I recommend trying out the traditional Christmas spread at Flury’s, the classic Chelo kebabs at Peter Cat, and the roasted duck at Moulin Rouge. If you are looking to have an authentic Christmas turkey serving this year, step away from Park Street and visit Tintin & The Brussels Club in Hemanta Mukherjee Sarani, Lake Terrace.

Christmas celebrations at park Street
Christmas celebrations at park StreetOutlook India

V. Attend Any Of The Christmas Parties In Town

There are awesome Christmas parties happening in several venues throughout the city. From esteemed clubs like the Bengal Club, the Calcutta Club, and the Tollygunge Club, to bars such as Trincas in Park Street, restaurants, resorts, and properties, and nightclubs such as Roxy in Park Street, Five Mad Men in Salt Lake among others, everyone hosts their own Christmas party. If you do not wish to celebrate in the streets, you can always get passes to any of these parties that happening during Christmas in Kolkata.

A nighclub in Kolkata during Christmas
A nighclub in Kolkata during ChristmasWhatsupKolkata

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