Last year, this was the largest star ornament located at Cochin in Kerala, India. The star was noted in the Guiness Book of Records in December of 2009. It is 103 feet, 8" long, and weighs in at 9,259 lbs.
Another state in India that brings on the real spirit of Christmas with their elaborate displays of stars is Goa. Goa was one of 3 Portugese provinces in India-for 451 years. India invaded these territories in 1961 and brought them into it's domain. For centuries Goa was considered the headquarters of the Catholic Church in the orient. Goa is India's smallest state located in southwest India in the region known as the Konkan. And it is noted for its beautiful Cathedrals and serene beaches. At Christmas, almost every home in Goa has the light of a star shining to welcome the coming of Christ.
A shop in Goa where colorful Christmas stars may be purchased
A Christmas star in flora fusion
I know I have mentioned before that my mother was born and raised in India. She lived in Allahabad as a young girl and attended St. Mary's High School. Later her family moved to Lucknow where she attended The Loreto Convent. The schools were either boarding or day schools depending on your needs. Her father, my Grandfather, was of French and Indian descent, and her mother, my Grandmother, was of German descent. Mom and her four sisters, all of whom are still living, attended English schools and the Catholic Church. I asked mom to enlighten me a little about her Christmases growing up.
* In her own words my mother says: *
"Christmas was celebrated all over India, the schools let out for winter vacation and we were off a whole month. But, we were kept busy, making paper decorations for the house, knitting gifts, and Mums was busy with her baking. We had to sort through the various raisins she used, then they were rinsed and put out to dry. Almonds were cracked, soaked and peeled, and then dried and chopped to be used in the cake. Spices were pounded, also to be used in the cake. Mums used suet, and it was put through a special process to be used in the fruit cake and also in the plum pudding."
Plum Pudding Cake
"Christmas day was an all day celebration, even the servants got into the spirit. They came around for 'baksheesh' (gift), and the gardner's were out in full force selling boutonnieres and posies made from various flowers taken from nearby gardens, including ours! The Indian Sepoy's got into the act and actually did band concerts. It's funny, now that I think about it-these Indians didn't have any concept of English music, but they seemed to get the hang of it. Dinner was the final end of a big day. We had roast duck, turkey, or whatever fowl was available. Daddy would somehow get a ham, usually Australian, and the plum pudding would be brought out all lit up. That was a real treat for us kids, and then, finally, we got to pull the crackers with the little gifts flying out."
"We would run into the Tommies (British soldiers) after Midnight Mass was over, going back to their barracks after a night of boozing-they were a big mess, but I guess they missed their homes and families at Christmas. That was a scene my parents did not want us kids to see."
"All these things are my remembrances of Christmas throughout the years. It was a lovely time of the year, cold, but the flowers were blooming and everything was green."
MERRY CHRISTMAS MOM!
my Mom, Alma Ena Gabriel as a teenager
The following pictures are ones I gathered from Yahoo images search pertaining to Christmas in various parts of India...please enjoy!
Mango Christmas Tree decorated with balloons
handmade silk Christmas star
sand sculpture of Santa in Puri, India
Christmas shopping in New Delhi, India
Christmas festival in Raju, India