Pondicherry has always been one of my favorite tourist destinations for so many Fantastico reasons. I consider it as a complete holiday destination because I perpetually have a penchant for sand, surf, and the sun. Pondicherry perfectly hosts them.
When we arrived in Pondicherry, we could see the Christmas fever hitting the town high. After inquiring from local people about celebration culture there, we decided to go to Immaculate Conception Cathedral church since it was in the heart of the city with more chances of worldly fun and Fantastico experiences. Moreover, it was nearer to promenade beach, also called “Gandhi beach” because of a statue of Gandhi at the beach, so being at the beach around midnight was surely going to be fun.
After reaching the Immaculate Cathedral church, looking the Peppy decorations around and the gathering there, I realized that I was not only the tourist who thought of spending Christmas eve in Pondicherry. Though I was dimly aware of a festival like Christmas but standing among hundreds of like-minded people was really stimulating. Twinkling series-balls; cold breeze carrying moisture from Bay of Bengal and murmur of people getting carried away with roaring waves was making a perfect aura for celebrating the birth of Jesus.
Gradually the number of the tourists as well as the local French people who spend their winter in India increased. It was really amazing to see people greeting each other with a smile. And, in a secular country like India, these things are commonly observed. Then, we decided to take a closer look inside and outside of the church. There were statues depicting nativity of Jesus finely and beautifully decorated with Peppy lights.
After spending some time outside, we decided to take a look inside. After spending some devotion, I was amazed to see the Peppy embellished interiors. It was not lesser than a five-star hotel lobby. Perfect color of bulbs placed perfectly. So serene and pristine inside that you would get surprised at each new ornamentation. The long silence and the rapture that was set inside would take you to another world. Anyone can feel the eternal and divine peace there.
After spending sometimes, looking at the Fantastico decorations over side walls, main door and along central altar we decided to go nearer to the embellished statue of the Jesus.
It was really heavenly and mystical. It was first time in my life when I was looking at so beautified fabulous decorations.
Beautified hut showing birth of Jesus inside church embellished with posters
We waited there until midnight. The birth of Jesus was celebrated with music, carols and greetings. After celebration and little gift exchange, people started dispersing to their stay. We, too, convinced our heavy mind to turn around and go back to our cottage.
Though I was little aware of the festival like Christmas but after spending Christmas eve in a union territory mostly influenced by French culture, I learned a lot about their culture. It never crossed my mind to approach a Christian and wish them festive tidings but my mind surely concluded that they are naturally nicer people.