I don’t know about you but in the last 4 years that I have been living in Mumbai, I could not find a single high quality, casual, professional Expat Business Networking event or group. Yes, you have the events by Consulates or Chambers of Commerce and there are plenty of social networking groups for expats. But whether you are brand new in the city or you have been around for some time, you may not want to build your professional network while half drunk dancing on the dance floor.
That is why I partnered up with The Sassy Spoon in Nariman Point to host the first Glocalista Expat Business Networking Breakfast! I am super excited to bring working expats from around the world together and to create a platform for all of us to grow our professional network.
We all have been to some kind of wine tasting event. But have you been to a spirit tasting event ever?
Mark your calendars for this Saturday and enjoy over 40 Imported and Indian Wines, Premium Imported Spirits, Crafted Cocktails and Accompaniments like a variety of Cheeses & Appetizers at Agents of Cheer Vol.1
There will also be 2 Guided Appreciation Sessions on Imported Wines & Spirits which are NOT a part of the walk around tasting. Hurry as they have only 25 tickets for these sessions. The walk-around tasting is limited to 100 people.
Agents of Cheer is different from the typical crowded food & wine festivals because they carefully curate each wine and spirit that has been handpicked to offer you optimum taste in a relaxed, intimate setting in the company of other drinks enthusiasts.
All the details below. But before I forget – Agents of Cheer offered all Glocalistas a special ticket price. Use promo codeGLOCAL10to get 10% discount. Yeah!
Date: Saturday, 20th Jan, 5 PM onward
5-7PM: Sit Down Appreciation Sessions on Wine & Tequila
Now that Christmas has passed and the year is coming to an end, everyone is haunted by the same question – what are we doing this New Year’s Eve?! Well, here are some of the best restaurants in the city that have organised some amazing New Year specials:
New Year celebrations at Grand Hyatt
Grand Hyatt brings to you extraordinary celebrations to ring in the New Year in style. It’s classic restaurants such as Fifty Five East, Soma, China House and Celini will treat you with unlimited food, spirits, majestic desserts zone and kids area, whereas the China House Lounge and Grand Courtyard Party will include an enthralling DJ experience under the stars.
Date: Sunday, 31st December, 2017
Price: Fifty Five East – INR 4159, Soma – INR 5274, China House – INR 5274 and Celini – INR 5274, Grand Courtyard Party – INR 4159, China House Lounge – INR 14320 (all prices inclusive of taxes)
Address: Bandra Kurla Complex Vicinity, Off Western Express Highway, Santacruz East, Mumbai
Contact Details: 02266761231 / 7045950140
New Year’s Eve at Farzi Cafe, Kamala Mills & High Street Phoenix
Celebrate the New Year’s Eve at Farzi Cafe and get high on music, great food, booze, fun and energy. To set the floor rocking and welcome 2018 with a BANG, groove to some of the best tunes spinned with the cafe’s Resident & Guest DJ along with a Percussionist too. Enjoy 6 Vegetarian Appetisers, 6 Non Vegetarian Appetisers, 2 Vegetarian Main course, 2 Non Vegetarian Main Course, 2 Desserts and spirits like JW Black Label, Ciroc / Ketel One, Tanqueray, Bacardi / Captain Morgan / Old Monk and more all night!
Date: Sunday, 31st December 2017, 10 PM onwards to closing
Address: Farzi Cafe, Kamala Mills, Near Radio Mirchi Office, Lower Parel, Mumbai | Farzi Cafe, Unit C-10B, Ground floor, Courtyard, High Street Phoenix, 462, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai
Contact Details: Farzi Cafe – Kamala Mills – 8433942801, 8433942802, Farzi Cafe – High Street Phoenix – 7400066824 7400066825
New Year Eve celebrations at 145 Kalaghoda and Bandra
Bring in the New Year at 145 Kalaghoda and Bandra as they offer a special deal of INR 7,500 for couples and INR 3,950 for stag which will include unlimited drinks, food and entertainment. For this particular occasion, they have carefully curated this menu with some of their signature dishes and classic cocktails. The restaurant will stay open until well past midnight to mark the arrival of a New Year with a Toast to start 2018 with a bang! So drop by for some great food, drink and dance at 145 Kalaghoda and Bandra this New Year’s eve!
Date: Sunday, 31st December 2017, 9pm onwards
Price: INR 7,500 for couples and INR 3,950 for stag (Unlimited food and drinks)
It’s time to brighten and lighten up as FLYP@MTV Cafe brings to you the biggest House Party to end 2017 in style. Get your best foot forward and make FLYP@MTV Cafe your home for the night. Adding to the celebrations, dance and groove with DJ SRV on the house who will ensure you don’t stop dancing your way into 2018.
Date: Sunday, 31st December 2017, 9 pm onwards
Price: INR 6000/- plus taxes for couples | INR 4000/- plus taxes for male stag | INR 3000/- plus taxes for female stag
Address: FLYP@MTV Cafe, Unit No 6, First Floor, Kamala Mills Compound, Gate No 4, Trade View Building, Oasis Complex, Lower Parel, Mumbai
Bonobo’s New Years Eve Party: The Jungle Gathering 2018
Your favourite rooftop bar has something in store for all you party animals. Bonobo brings to you their awesome New Years Eve Party with the theme of Jungle Gathering 2018. Groove to the tunes of DJ Benedict and DJ Pradeep Maharana who are ready to set the dance floor on fire!
Date: Sunday, 31st December, 2017, 9 pm onwards
Price: INR 2000/- (plus taxes) for stag and INR 3500/- (plus taxes) for a couple (includes free flowing appetizers and IMFL alcohol)
New Year Eve Celebration at British Brewing Company
Welcome the New Year at British Brewing Company outlets in Mumbai. Dance to foot-tapping music and savour delicious food with starters like Nutty Nut Masala, Peri Peri Chilli fries, Charred paneer tikka, Mumbaiya Chilli in vegetarian options and Non – Vegetarian options like Fiery Chicken Lollipop, Fish & Chips, Tupelo Chicken, Chicken Harissa Kebab. Mains include Non Veg selects like Chipotle Pizza, Biryani, Smokey Barbeque Pizza and veg dishes like Paneer Makhani and Jeera rice and Mix Vegetable Noodles. End the year on a sweet note with hearty desserts like Chocolate Brownie with Ice Cream, Fruit base and Chocolate base dessert.
Price: Unlimited Food & IMFL set menu = INR 3000 all inclusive per person
Address: British Brewing Company all outlets in Mumbai
Palladium, High Street Phoenix (Lower Parel), Times Square Tech Park (Andheri East), Oberoi Mall (Goregaon East) and Inorbit Mall (Vashi)
Contact Details: 02239698190
Festive Buffet (Lunch) & Celebrations Special Menu (All Day) at Copper Chimney, Kalaghoda & Worli
Mumbai’s iconic restaurant Copper Chimney has come up with a special festive buffet (Lunch) and Celebrations Special Menu (a la carte) upto January 1, 2018. You can join in with your friends and family to indulge in some delicious food and potent spice infused cocktails along with an extensive bar menu. Their festive buffet includes 2 Soups, 4 Tandoor Grills (Veg & Non Veg), 4 Curries (Veg & Non Veg) + 1 Dal. For the mains, one can choose from 2 Biryanis/Rice or try from 4 Chaats. To end the festive buffet on a sweet note, they will be serving 8 Desserts which also have live Jalebi/Malpua Counters.
Date: Until January 1, 2018, 12 PM to 4 PM & 7 PM to 12 AM
Your table, your time, your music! Indulge in some amazing craft beer and scrumptious wholesome food while dancing to the tunes of DJ Fatbat. Your New Years bash is going to be just the way you like it!
Date: Sunday, 31st December, 2017, 10 PM onwards
Address: Godrej BKC Building, Ground Floor, Unit no. 3, G Block, Bandra Kurla Complex (E), Mumbai
Contact Details: 022 62328359
New Year’s Eve at Turban Tales, Powai
Get Desi this New Year’s Eve at Turban Tales, an amazing Small Plates Bar. Enjoy 3 Mocktails, 3 Vegetarian Appetisers, 3 Non Vegetarian Appetisers, 4 Vegetarian Main course, 4 Non Vegetarian Main Course, 3 Desserts and spirits like Blenders Pride, Signature, Bacardi, White Rum, Smirnoff Vodka, Old Monk, Beer, Fratelli wine, Red & White Cocktails, shots and more all night!
If you don’t feel like spending your New Years in the city this year, but you still haven’t zeroed in on a place, then here are some amazing last minute travel plans that we have come up with. Have a look!
Goa is one of the best places to bring in the New Year as it is widely popular among the locals and foreigners as a party hotspot, a paradise of beaches, stunning blue waters and delicious seafood. With cheap booze, great food and exciting trance music, Goa is definitely a place to go to for New Years.
Attractions: Anjuna Beach, Candolim beach, Baga Beach, Fort Aguada, Calangute Beach, Scuba Diving at Grande Island, Grand Hyatt and Tito’s Club at the Cavelossim Beach are some popular New Year attractions where you can hangout with friends and enjoy this lovely destination.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Scenic beaches, crystal clear waters, freshness in the air, serene atmosphere and beautiful aquatic life make Andaman and Nicobar Islands the best destination to ring in the New Year with your loved one. You can enjoy fun adventure activities such as snorkeling or enjoy delectable seafood while soaking in the lovely view.
Attractions: Radhanagar beach at Havelock islands, Limestone caves at Baratang Island, Cellular jail in Port Blair, Neil Island for its adventure sports, coral reefs and white shores are some of the best attractions at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. You are sure to have a wonderful time here!
(Quick note: Foreign nationals must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months.)
Could there be anything better than watching snowfall while you’re sitting in your cozy little room with a mug of hot chocolate (with marshmallows, of course)? You can experience this and much more in Manali, Himachal Pradesh. This destination is also very popular for trekkers. However, if you’re not a fan of trekking, then you can just enjoy the New Year by tucking in some delicious bakes from local bakeries like the German Bakery.
Attractions: Solang valley, Rohtang pass, Hadimba temple, Beas Kund, Old Manali, Kullu, experiencing snowfall, engaging in some adventure sports like trekking, Zorbing, horse riding, skiing and paragliding.
If you’re looking to escape from the hectic life of the city, and want to spend the new year camping under the beautiful skies, then this Golden City is the perfect place to be. Jaisalmer is home to the famous Jaisalmer fort, a UNESCO Heritage site and many more natural and manmade wonders.
Attractions: Jaisalmer fort, Sam sand dunes, luxury camping, camel safari, authentic Rajasthani cuisines at Chokhi Dhani and visiting an abandoned village of the 17th century – Kuldhara are the best ways to spend your New Year while in Jaisalmer.
The One – A Mediterranean style homestay in Ganpatipule (Konkan)
A beautiful homestay in Ganpatipule, a town on the Konkan Coast of Maharashtra awaits you for a vacation. The One is a Mediterranean style rooftop apartment with the gorgeous Greek blue and white theme, lovely decor and a view of the stunning Ganpatipule beach. You are also given other facilities like beach tents, an iPod dock, a bicycle and a ton of other things to keep yourself entertained. It is the perfect place to spend your New Year with family, friends or your special one.
Attractions: Apart from this homestay, other attractions in Ganpatipule are Swayambhu Ganapati Temple that is believed to be 400 years old, Ganpatipule beach and of Jaigad lighthouse that was built in the year 1832.
Amoeba is an entertainment parlour which has a bowling alley, a sports bar and a restaurant. It has an interesting menu and groovy music, and is overall a great place to hangout with your friends, especially if you want towatch your favourite games on big screen.
Where: F-33,34, First floor
PVR is a multiplex theatre company at Phoenix Marketcity where people can watch movies and have a wonderful time with friends and family. They also have a lounge area within the multiplex and a cafeteria as well. Head here to watch your favourite upcoming movie!
Where: First floor
Snow World is a one of its kind Indoor ‘real snow’ based theme park which makes it easy for all families to have an exciting yet relaxing time. You can build up confidence on your board or skis or have your first crack at the jumps on skates, all in a negative temperature of -10 degrees along with living the lifestyle of an Eskimo.
Where: 58 – 61, Lower Ground floor
Clue Hunt is a great place to spend your weekend doing something different and fun! It is India’s first live escape game where you can solve a 60-minute mystery game challenge (to escape from a room) in a team of 2 to 8 players. It’s a great team building, social or family event.
Where: S-28A, Second floor
Other attractions at Phoenix Marketcity
Phoenix Marketcity is also very famous for its unique and artistic art installations. These installations are extremely creative and draw a large audience from across the city. The mall is also well known for its beautiful decorations during festive seasons inside the mall and outside the mall as well. The mall adds in a festive cheer with its special LED decorations installed on the exteriors. Apart from this, music concerts, flea markets, pop-up shops and exhibitions are held in the Dublin Square at Phoenix Marketcity, making it a very happening place for fun activities.
Christmas is just around the corner and we are now beginning to feel the festive cheer, with twinkling lights and pretty decorations adorning houses, restaurants and shops all around the city. On the occasion of this special festival, we have curated a list of some of the best restaurants that will be hosting amazing Christmas feasts.
Christmas Party for kids at Mahek’s Atelier
Step into the winter wonderland as Mahek’s Atelier, a cooking studio announces an exciting Gingerbread House decorating party for kids this Christmas. This will be a very memorable experience for them as they will bond over decorating delicious bakes with Royal icing, candies, marshmallows, gems and many more confectionaries to choose from, and can also take their Gingerbread Houses back home. To make this experience even more exciting for the kids, Santa will come bearing presents and goodies for the children and there will also be games and music to add to the fun.
Date: 23rd December 2017, 4 PM onwards
Price: INR 1500 (inclusive of taxes) for 1 Pair (1 Adult + 1 Child)
Johnnie Walker presents ‘Infusion’ at The Boston Butt
The Boston Butt has specially curated a menu infusing the finest Johnnie Walker blends in their food to give you a perfect spirit experience for your palette. They have lined a whole menu containing slow braised meats, glazed and basted with the Johnnie Walker blends. The menu will be spirit infused, ranging from the the entrees to desserts including a Christmas Bundt Cake and whiskey infused ice-creams, making it an unique experience for the guests. Moreover, they will also have specially curated cocktails by the Master of Concoctions, Jamie Walker himself.
Date: 24th December 2017, 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Address: 1st-floor Rampart Row 30 K Dubash Marg Opp. Max Mueller Bhavan, Near Rhythm House and Jehangir Art Gallery, Kalaghoda, Fort, Mumbai – 400023
Contact Details: 022 – 69470000 / +9188790 24443
Wild West Christmas Celebration at Old Wild West
This Christmas set aside your little black dress and buckle up your boots, put on your bows and head to Old Wild West with your gang to chug on some beers, sip on whiskey and take the bull ride and begin your year end in a Wild West style. Satiate your Tex-Mex cravings with their scrumptious delectable like Tex Mex Veg Tacos, Oriental Paneer Chilly, Texan Chicken Tenders, Mexican Chicken Wings, South Style Fish Crackers and a lot more. To compliment they have Mexican Themed Cocktails including Mexican Wave, Cowboy, Malta Whiskey, White Mexican and many more.
Address: First Floor, Trade View Building Oasis Complex, Kamala Mills Compound Pandurang Budhkar Marg Lower Parel, Mumbai – 400013
Contact Details: 022 6537 6677
All Day Long Drunch at Kaitlyn’s Beer Garden
Celebrations have started at Kaitlyn’s Beer Garden as they invite you to try their delicious All Day Long Drunch where you get your personal menu to choose from 2 starters,1 salad, 1 main course and a dessert along with unlimited Kingfisher Tap Beer and Raspberry Royale that is their special Christmas Cocktail, and you can also opt for unlimited Mimosas. So head to Kaitlyn’s Beer Garden with your gang to sit under mistletoe and enjoy the all day long Drunch.
Date: 24th December 2017, All day long
Price: 1500+ taxes, Christmas Drunch with Unlimited Mimosas 2200+
With the onset of winter, an amalgamation of cheer and gastric satiation is all what one wants. With the last feast of the year, raise a toast to good tidings, good company and good food! Join Team Magazine Street Kitchen for a very merry Mag St Christmas Brunch as they prepare to titillate your taste buds and make sure you have a great time!
Date: 25th December 2017, 1:00 PM onwards
Price: INR 5500 (inclusive of taxes), INR 6500 (inclusive of taxes and alcohol)
Address: Gala No 13, Devidayal Compound, Near Britannia Company, Magazine Street, Gupta Mills Estate, Darukhana, Byculla East, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400010
Christmas is less than a week away, and this is literally the best time to go gift shopping for your friends and family if you haven’t already. In order to help you avoid your last minute stress shopping, we have curated some of our favorite gifts that your loved ones are sure to love!
The Haathi Howda Yatra designer chai glasses by India Circus are an innovative way of gifting your friend or family member something creative that will accessorize their table.
This gift is for: A friend who loves drinking tea or coffee.
Where to buy it: You can buy the Haathi Howda Yatra chai glasses at their stores in Fort and High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel or online.
Couple tees couldn’t be a more romantic way to tell your other half how much they mean to you! With cute quotes like ‘to infinity and beyond’ printed on your T-shirts, it is a perfect gift this Christmas.
This gift is for: Your sweetheart as a promise to be together forever.
Where to buy it: You can buy the Bombay Trooper Couple T-Shirtshere.
Candle Gift Set
There is something regal about scented candles that makes it a beautiful item to gift. This Good Earth’s Glass Candles Gift Set illuminates the floral splendor of Nishaat Mughal gardens in Kashmir. Once the candle wax has melted away, the glass with delicate flowers and motifs can be filled with tea lights.
This gift is for: All your lovely female friends who will love to decorate this pretty gift set in their homes.
This Christmas, we have come up with the best churches to visit in Bandra, South Bombay, and across the city.
St. Michael’s Church, Mahim
St. Michael’s Church is one of the oldest Catholic churches in Mumbai, originally built by the Portuguese in 1534. Since then it was rebuilt a number of times, the present structure dating to 1973. This church is very famous for its Novenas held every Wednesday, wherein Not only Christians, but also adherents of other faiths congregate to pay their respects to the Virgin Mary and attend mass every Wednesday. Devotees believe that visiting the Church on nine consecutive Wednesdays (Novena) will grant their wishes.
Christmas special: The Christmas Eve midnight mass of St. Michael’s Church is very popular, and carol singing starts at 11 PM. The church is beautifully lit up, and a market occupying the pavement out the front has a marvellous display of starry lanterns, scented candles, Jesus and Mother Mary statues.
Address: Lady Jamshedji Road, Mahim West, Mahim, Mumbai
This beautiful tall Gothic-style church was inspired by the Canterbury Cathedral of England. It is one of the oldest Roman Catholic churches in Mumbai. The origin of the Gloria church can be traced to a private chapel which was built around 1548. As Byculla rose in importance and population, and as the number of Catholics increased, the private chapel naturally proved inadequate to the needs of the times. Therefore, to accommodate more people for mass prayers, church was built by Portuguese Franciscans in 1632. The modern Gloria church was built in English Gothic style in 1911 at Byculla & shaped in the form of a Latin Cross with lofty Towers – 4 Turrets which rise to a height of 160 ft. In 2013, the Church was recently renovated for the centenary year.
Christmas special: Christmas Eve at Gloria Church is absolutely magical! With its tall church towers (one of the tallest in the city), it makes for a splendid setting to ring in the Christmas festivities. This year, Christmas midnight service will begin with Carol Singing at 11.30 pm followed by midnight mass. On Christmas Day, i.e. 25th December, masses will be at 7 am, 8.15 am and 9.30 am (all in English).
Address: Sant Savata Mali Marg, Byculla East, Mazgaon, Mumbai
Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church, Borivali has been a Roman Catholic Parish from 1547 to 1739 and again from 1912 onwards. The Church structure traces its origin back to the fifteenth century, a monument with an archetypal history and national significance. Adjoining the present Church building are the Mandapeshwar caves which date back to circa 750-850AD. In the 1980s and 1990s, as people from the main city and southern suburbs started moving to Borivali for its peaceful surroundings, the parish started expanding – gradually in the beginning and then with increasing speed. On the feast day at Mount Poinsur, 8 December, hundreds of thousands of people from all over Mumbai come and pay homage following a centuries’ old tradition which considers the Church of Our Lady of the Conception a centre for pilgrimage.
Christmas special: This church is decorated with holly wreaths, garlands and twinkling lights during Christmas. The mass is held on the huge church grounds. The attendance of their popular midnight mass service has increased to 12,000 people in recent years. This year, carol singing will begin at 9:30 PM, followed by the Christmas Eve mass from 10 PM.
Address: Shree Aurobindo Marg, I C Colony, Mount Poinsur, Borivali West, Mumbai
This Monday, enjoy the amazing taste of West African and Middle Eastern cuisine grilled specialties at African Grill Specials by The Brasserie Grill located at the Hilton Mumbai International Airport. What could be better than dining beneath the stars at their al-fresco dining outlet with a live grill kitchen and beautiful view of the hotel swimming pool? For table reservations, call on +91 22 2838 0000. For more information, check out their official Facebook event page.
Tuesday, 19 December
The Consulat général de France à Bombay and Institut français India have organised an event called The Bonjour India Experience at Cross Maidan daily until 28th December. Experience this immersive journey, the first of its kind in India, that celebrates the breadth and depth of the relationship between India and France in a way it has never been told before – from technology to culture, from yesterday to tomorrow. Entry is free of cost. Visit their websitefor more information about the event.
Wednesday, 20 December
If you love Korean culture such as their traditional performing art forms, Taekwondo, K-Pop music and K-dramas, then you should definitely attend The 2017 Korean Cultural Festival at Shanmukhananda Hall, Sion from 7 PM to 9 PM. Free entry, first come first serve. Check their Facebook event page here.
Thursday, 21 December
This Thursday, celebrate unadulterated Indie music at Hard Rock Café, Andheri from 8:30 PM to 11:30 PM with Music UnLtd, an award-winning Indie Band that performs Progressive, Alternative, Psychedelic and Classic Rock in English & Hindi. For more information about the event, check out their official Facebook event page.
Friday, 22 December
This Friday, KRUNK presents Madame Gandhi, an artist and activist who writes her own electronic music that elevates and celebrates the female voice. Go support this great woman and listen to her fresh music at Bonobo – Bar.Love.Food. The timings are 10 PM to 1 AM. To know more about this event, check out their official Facebook event page.
Saturday, 23 December
Enjoy your Saturday night by dancing away on disco, house and techno music as Heineken presents Stalvart John, Midland Sparks and Ben Yugen at Café Zoe from 9:30 PM onwards. Don’t miss out on this one if you want to have an awesome time. Check their official Facebook event page for more details.
Sunday, 24 December
Be a part of wonderful festive celebrations by attending the Christmas Eve masses at beautiful churches across Mumbai. Here are three of our articles – Churches in Bandra, South Bombay and other parts of the city which can make it easier for you to choose where you’d like to go.
Christmas in New York is timeless and beautiful. The entire city is decked up with ornate Christmas trees, hollies and twinkling lights that makes it look like a winter wonderland! The world-famous Christmas tree of Rockefeller Center covered in 50,000 LED lights is the biggest attraction of New York during the holidays. You can also enjoy a carriage ride through Central Park which is such an amazing experience. Lovers of snow, glitter, fairy lights and everything magical will be absolutely smitten with NYC’s Dyker Heights Christmas Lights and Radio City Music Hall’s sparkling Christmas tree. You can shop for your loved ones at some of the best Christmas holiday markets in the city – namely Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park, Union Square Holiday Market and the Grand Central Holiday Fair.
Vienna is such a perfect place to celebrate Christmas the old-fashioned way. Get lost into the aroma of delicious frying sausages, the sweet tang of toffee apples and the fragrance of countless scented candles. Immerse yourself in the glittery holiday decorations covering the imperial architecture and three outdoor Christkindl Markets wherein visitors can choose from a wide range of artisan wares and ornaments, watch the amazing displays of artists, cooks and shopkeepers as well as savour some wonderfully spiced Glühwein or mulled wine. Listening to The Vienna Boys’ Choir concerts is also legendary experience that you should not miss. The best places in Vienna to experience charming Christmas lights are Kohlmarkt, Graben where you can walk beneath giant chandeliers containing around 200,000 LEDs, Stephansplatz and Kärntner Straße which has shimmering cascades of lights with around 550,000 LEDs and 48 km of crystals to create a fairytale-like feel. The traditional Christmas markets to enjoy in Vienna are Christkindlmarkt on the Rathausplatz (the biggest one), Spittelberg, Karlsplatz, Freyung and Schönbrunn (in front of the palace).
Christmas in Goa is celebrated like no place else in India. During Christmas in Goa, all the streets are lit up and the market places are all decorated with tinsel and buntings. Christmas trees are decorated with dainty ornaments and holly wreaths adorn pretty little Goan homes. Since Goa is home to over 400 churches, the best thing to do is attending a midnight mass service on Christmas Eve, and immerse in the beautiful harmony and melody of Christmas hymns and carols that fill up the air. Church bells ringing also add in a historic charm to the ambience. You can also witness an array of beautiful fireworks on beaches such as Baga and Calangute or treat yourself to a grand traditional Goan Christmas feast.
Strasbourg is a spectacular sight to witness during Christmas as a series of themed Christmas villages transform the city into a fantastic wonderland filled with scenic delights. The old-world charm can be experienced here as this place has a rich history and culture. The famous Christkindelsmärik, the oldest Christmas market in Europe was held in Strasbourg in 1570, and the tradition has been followed ever since, thus crowning it the “Capital of Christmas” since 1992. People in Strasbourg put up Christmas trees, make a nativity scene, bake spiced bread and prepare hot wine. The vast Christmas Tree – the 28-metre-tall centrepiece at the heart of the city – is an iconic symbol of Strasbourg. Other pretty illuminated places around the city are The Porte de Lumières, Place Kléber and the façade of the Aubette building. If you are a foodie, you should definitely visit the Christmas food market and discover traditional products from Alsace.
Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland
Rovaniemi in Lapland, Finland may be the best place on earth to celebrate Christmas as Finns argue that it makes a much likelier home for Santa than even the North Pole. This place draws more than 300,000 annual visitors from all around the world. Rovaniemi received the status of the Official Hometown of Santa Claus in 2010. You can enjoy husky and reindeer rides, snowmobile tours, ice and snow constructions here. Santa Claus Main Post Office is also a must on any visit to Santa Claus Village. Santa Claus is also said to have a group of elves that can be seen here in the village, and there is also something called an Elf School! Rovaniemi is truly a traditional Christmas place.