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India - Christmas traditions & customs

Because India is mainly Hindu and Moslem, there is no official celebration of Christmas. However, this time of year is looked upon as an appropriate time for gift-giving and tipping or giving "baksheesh," charitable hand-outs to the poor of the country.

Christians in India decorate mango or banana trees at Christmas time. Sometimes they also decorate their houses with mango leaves. In some parts of India, small clay oil-burning lamps are used as Christmas decorations; they are placed on the edges of flat roofs and on the tops of walls. Churches are decorated with poinsettias and lit with candles for the Christmas Even service.


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