Mumbai – a city of many faiths and convictions. A city where cultural diversities are so many in number, a place where secularism goes hand in hand with traditions. Though it is widely believed that Mumbai is a city that never sleeps and life here is really hectic, people of Mumbai do find time to celebrate festivals with fervour and passion. Be it Ganpati, Diwali, Eid or Christmas, Mumbai is all lit up in bright and dazzling lights to entice every soul around, irrespective of their religions.
Christmas has been synonymous with tradition for generations now, all across the world. And Mumbai is no different. Be it the X’Mas tree, baking cakes, carols echoing in the air, Mumbai gears up to welcome the season in all glory. As December dawns, shops begin to stock up fairy lights, string lights, bubble lights, stars and other decorations so that people can plan and buy whatever they need to transform their homes into a magical land. Even the tiniest shops get busy with people hustling about to buy decorations and trinkets to adorn their homes. The Christmas cheer strikes all, so much so that the street urchins smilingly wear and sell Santa caps and stockings.
Towards mid-December, streets are lit up in celebration. A few days before Christmas, churches like the Afghan Church, the Mahim Church, and the Mount Mary Church; all get ready to welcome the beloved Lord. Midnight mass is held in the Churches on Christmas Eve and thousands of believers turn up in their best suits and shimmering skirts to usher in the Saviour. Even the non-believers get out of homes to catch the glorious sight of a city decorated and lit up in celebration. For many, this is a weeklong festival and for the rest it ends with the feast of Epiphany on the sixth of January. Though the dates and the customs may vary across the globe, the spirit of Christmas is universally the same. People are kinder to each other, strangers smile at you on the road, and even the grumpiest person becomes softer, as Christmas and Santa melt hearts all over the maximum city.
With the world becoming more global, Christmas is acquiring a more secular colour, though many old timers feel that the religious relevance of Christmas is considerably reduced these days. So while the decorations, the parties and the merry-making is happening all around us, it’s important to remember that the spirit of giving and sharing is the most important part of Christmas. Christmas is a gentle reminder to us all of the values imbibed and passed on through generations – empathy and sensitivity. We need to take care of the less fortunate and less privileged. The world is our family and other fellow human beings are our brethren, therefore our brothers and sisters also deserve a share of the happiness that we are entitled to.
May the Good Lord bless all of us with the best and glorious festive season this time and always! Merry Christmas !!