Living in Delhi may not be the most archetypal when it comes to celebrating Christmas. But, do not fret because we have multiple solutions to make this Christmas more jolly for you!

The jolly holiday of Christmas in Delhi often appears rather gloomy in the absence of snow, pine trees, or even the basic festive environment. But, that’s not all that Christmas is about. Delhi may not be the ideal place for Christmas, but it also not all disappointing.

Here are some ways in which you can enjoy Christmas to your heart’s content:

  1. Visit a Church

With Christmas around the corner, chapels and cathedrals across are lit up in the zeal of the festive mood. One can spend a nice, warm day at the Sacred Heart Cathedral, Vatican Embassy Chapel, or the Cathedral church of Redemption and enjoy the choirs, feast, prayers, and the decorations having a jolly good time with the perfect Christmas vibe. Make sure you don’t miss the midnight masses celebrating the birth of Christ!

Image Credits: India Today
  1. Christmas Markets

Christmas also fills the streets of Delhi with countless markets, posing a hotspot to wisely invest your money on various quirky items or maybe just delicious food! Set your shopaholic souls free and don’t let a dime go worthless. Swiss German Christkindle Market, Delhi Haat, Select CityWalk Christmas Carnival and even the Sadar Bazaar are some of the best Christmas markets in the city and must not be missed.


Image Credits:
Image Credits:
  1. Sit in a Cafe

Delhi is home to some of the most delightful, cozy cafes. If you’d rather spend Christmas in a calm and solitary environment, grab yourself a large cup of hot chocolate, pick up your favourite book and snuggle in a corner of a cute, little cafe and maybe even build your own holiday aesthetics. Diggin in Green Park, Rose Cafe in Saidulajab and Coffee Bond in Uday Park Market are some of the most alluring cafes in the city. Blue Tokai along with Bahri Sons bookstore in Saket is the perfect refuge for absolutely any day! And if nothing, just grab a grande pumpkin latte in one of those gorgeous Christmas cups from Starbucks.

Image Credits:
Image Credits: Aditi Gutgutia
  1. Christmas Movies Marathons

Honestly, you don’t even need to leave your home, or even your room to enjoy Christmas to your heart’s content. Just get yourself a big bowl of popcorn, grab your coziest blanket and your laptop and its charger and binge watch the countless, hilarious, heart-warming Christmas movies till your eyes turn sore. Some of my personal favourites include- Home Alone, A Christmas Carol, The Nightmare before  Christmas, Arthur Christmas and The Grinch. If you want to watch terrible, cheesy movies, don’t feel guilty, for it’s Christmas time and you can watch all of Vanessa Hudgens on Netflix and not worry about being judged.

Image Credits:
Image Credits:
  1. Club Hopping

Not everyone can find solace in quiet evenings as suggested above. To those of you, I recommend club hopping. Sticking to one club, after a while, starts losing its appeal and thrill. Moving from one club to another with your gang on Christmas Eve has a kick to itself, just dancing away to your favourite tunes (and maybe even getting entirely wasted *smirk smirk*). Connaught Place, Hauz Khas and Cyber Hub are some of the prime locations with multiple sensational clubs located in close proximity.

  1. Social Work

Christmas is a time of merry making with presents and cakes. But it is also a time of forgiveness and generosity. Make this Christmas truly christmassy, not just for yourself but also for those in need by putting forward your helping your helping hand. Reach out to animal shelters, orphanages or under-privileged schools and offer your services. Be the Santa Claus of the needy. Donate books, clothes and presents and let the jingle bells ring for those deprived of the joy.

Feature Image Credits: Times of India

Aditi Gutgutia

[email protected]

The tradition of the ‘Virgin Tree pooja’ at Hindu College, wherein students pray in front of a tree on Valentine’s Day with the hope of losing their virginity, is viewed with diverse and opposing perspectives.

“I’m just young, rich, and tasteless,” says rapper Pusha T in the song ‘Runaway’. It might be an apt slogan for the tradition of the Virgin Tree (V-Tree) pooja at Hindu College. “Young” because maybe we’re the youth desperate to get laid; but also “tasteless” because maybe we recognise the problems with the tradition and go on regardless. “Rich” is slightly irrelevant here.

The tradition, which takes place at Valentine’s every year sees students worshipping the V-Tree. A female celebrity is chosen as the ‘Damdami Mai’ and the Mr. Fresher of the boys’ hostel, dressed as the pandit, does the pooja. Recently, the same has begun for the girls’ hostel also, wherein a ‘Love Guru’ is worshipped by the Ms. Fresher. Water filled condoms are hung on the tree, an aarti is sung, the water is showered on the crowd and a Holi-like celebration follows. Apparently, thou shall loseth thy V-card should thou showereth in the condometh watereth. Hindu 6:9, perhaps? Students view the pooja in a variety of ways. Defenders say that the motive is spreading awareness about safe sex. Others say that it’s patriarchal, misogynist, and excludes many. Yet others fall somewhere in between. “(The pooja) serves the purpose of spreading sexual awareness. It tries to do away with the taboo associated with sex,” says a second-year History Honours student. This was reiterated by Shubham Yadav, the Girls Students’ Welfare Minister. She said that while posters about AIDS awareness are also put up, the aarti is very demeaning.

This reasoning isn’t convincing to many.
Kareema Barry, a second-year English Honours student says that the inclusion of the male celebrity was only “tokenistic.” “What about transgenders? Aren’t we neglecting them? The solution is not to put their picture but to remove all of them,” says Sakshi Priya, Vice President of the college’s Women’s Development Cell while proposing a discussion on safe sex instead. Parakram Chauhan, a Philosophy Honours fresher comments on the “toxicity” behind the the pooja in terms of “seeing getting laid as some sort of prize or blessing.”

What are the freshers expecting?
One such expectation is to see a proper way of disposing of condoms, according to Mrinalinee Sharma of the History department. Khushi Gupta of the same department says “I want to see how they hang condoms after filling them with water, I’m very excited.” Parakram says he’s expecting “nothing at all.” However, a large chunk of them seems to be unaware of what the pooja is. Various students have protested against the tradition and some tell us that the crowds had declined last year. While Pinjra Tod’s article on the subject, which condemns the pooja as a contributor to “rape culture — which slut shames women who assert their sexuality,” is a bit overblown, not even the defenders deny that it could be made more inclusive and less demeaning.

Whether it’s a silly tradition or a serious issue, and whether it needs amendment or abolition, is for us to decide. We must ask if we’re just being tasteless, or something much more serious than that.

Image Credits: DU Beat

Prateek Pankaj
[email protected]

A gentle reminder that every import from the west carries with it complex implications for a society as diverse and traditional as ours.

Among other things, Delhi University (DU) students very often boast about the kind of diversity their respective colleges enjoy. In every section of every course, there will be those who attend classes and those who don’t. Keeping the simplistic distinction aside, a safe assumption would be that all of us have known people across religions, states, and economic and social classes. Hence, Valentine’s Day too is a messy affair in this diversity of possibilities and options.

In the Indian context, the warring ideas emerge as that of hyper-capitalism and traditionalism which ultimately result in a rather interesting scenario. The whole week leading up to the 14th of February becomes larger than life, as we’re bombarded with manufactured images and products that define love in the 21st century. The capitalists controlling us carefully create customised needs and, through the course of the week, manipulate us into believing that we needed those things in the first place. Friends who are in relationships are aware of this manipulation and yet feel compelled to take part in it.

Capitalism scheming functions in such efficient ways that the expenditure is almost always considered directly proportional to the amount of love. To extend this scheme of manipulation beyond their target market, marketers are now also dictating how single people should spend this day. Quotes expressing the importance of self-love are splashed across hoardings leading you to believe that your consumption will instantly solve all of your problems and you will live “singly-ever-after”.

This complete rejection of Valentine’s Day, owing to its hyper commercialization, is increasingly becoming a dominant perspective. As students are becoming increasingly aware of the pressures influencing their consumption habits, they are becoming more immune to its effect.  How many actually make the effort to exist outside of this system is unknown, but the realisation of the fact that it’s happening is growing. While this understanding is necessary in the long run, it also springs from a very specific group of people. For this group, the idea of Valentine’s Day itself is very ordinary. It’s in a way suggestive of their privilege, which allows them to go beyond the idea of V-day and focus more on a larger global trend.

However, this idea of freely expressing love is extraordinary and even exciting for some. When you look beyond Delhi and into smaller towns, more specifically smaller towns with saffron skies, Valentine’s Day becomes much more significant. These are places where young people are regularly morally policed and not given spaces to freely interact and behave like young people with will and desires. In suffocated environments like these, you can see why Valentine’s Day would stand out as special. It’s almost an invitation for rebellion. Despite their circumstances, to keep the spirit of the day alive, young people venture out to spend their time in public spaces. Claiming to save our country from western influences and adding communal flavor in the form of Love Jihad, extremist groups inflict violence year-after-year on these youngsters.

The real story of the commercialisation of this day can be traced back to the time when it reached the same small towns. Year-after-year, more coffee houses and shopping complexes were being decorated with heart-shaped balloons. The extremists couldn’t multiply faster than the capitalists and, in the end, they were outnumbered. There were too many balloons to burst and the religion of profit-making became more lucrative than the rage of vigilantism. This is not to suggest that capitalism will solve conservatism, but is just to lend to a more rounded idea of Valentine’s Day and the significance it holds in parallel India’s narrative.

Image Credits: Bustle

Pragati Thapa

[email protected]

We know all about the grape-eating tradition in Spain on New Year’s eve, thanks to Modern Family. On further inspection, when it comes to celebrating the New Year, it seems that everyone has a bizarre way of doing things and celebrating the ushering of a new year. In no particular order of peculiarity, we bring you the strangest of these traditions to herald in the new year!

1. Suitcase Walk, Ecuador

Image Credits: www.telegraph.co.uk
Image Credits: www.telegraph.co.uk

While some people go out for a little walk right before the clock strikes 12, many in Ecuador take their empty suitcase for a stroll around their homes in the hope of travelling more in the new year.

2. Funky Underwear

Red Underwear, Turkey

Turkey  NYE tradition

While opening the tap and letting the water run is one tradition said to bring abundance to the home, the women in Turkey wear red underwear which is meant to bring love in their lives.

Speaking of wearing funky underwears on New Year’s eve is not limited to just Turkey. In some South American countries wearing colored underwear will determine your fate for the new year. Red underwear means you’ll find love. Gold means wealth, and white signifies peace.

Changing Underwear At Midnight- Bolivia

It is much like the New Year tradition followed in Mexico where people wear yellow underwear for inviting luck with the only difference being that Bolivians wait for midnight put on yellow underwear. Bolivians believe that with the change in the undergarment at the strike of midnight on New Year’s Eve will also bring about change in their fortunes.

3. Gluttonizing, Estonia


Estonia NYE
Image Credits: mic.com

Estonians followed a custom of eating SEVEN times on New Year’s day to ensure food abundance in the coming year (and of course increasing their chances of obesity) It was believed that if a man was able to eat seven meals, he would possess the strength of seven men the following year.


  1. Graveyard Camping, Chile

Image Credits: blog.crystaltravel.co.uk

Chileans take celebration with their families to a whole new level. Apparently, locals in central Chile, celebrate the new year’s eve in the company of their dead relatives. The town mayor opens the graveyard after late-night mass and thousands sit surrounded by the graves of their dear ones.

  1. Underwater tree planting, Siberia

Siberia NYE
Image credits: shlok.mobi

This is the Siberian custom of cutting a hole in the ice covering Lake Baikal and diving to the lake’s bottom while carrying a New Year’s tree. Of course, only professional divers are bestowed with this task!


  1. Broken Plates, Denmark

Image Credits: http://www.oddee.com/

Don’t be surprised if on New Year’s Day you have a pile of broken glass on your doorstep. In fact, you should be concerned if you don’t. In Denmark, throwing plates and glass at a door is a symbol of affection — the more shards on your porch, the more loyal your friends are. The more dishes thrown at you, the luckier you are!

  1. Round things, Philippines

Image Credits: list25.com

Round food, round clothes, as long as it’s round it’s supposed to represent coins and usher in wealth. Additionally, the people turn on all the lights in the house on New Year’s Eve to ward off evil spirits. Some also open all the doors, cabinets, and windows and then run around shutting them after it hits midnight. If that wasn’t strange enough, many natives fill pots and pans with water and throw the water out the front door once the clock strikes midnight.

  1. Takanakuy Festival, Peru


Image Credits: qcostarica.com
Image Credits: qcostarica.com

This annual Peruvian festival held at the end of December is all about people beating the living daylights out of each other. Competitors face off in a ring for a round of bare-knuckle brawling, which is overseen by local policemen. Takanakuy literally means ‘when the blood is boiling’, but apparently all of the fights are friendly, and represent a fresh start for the year. Battling their way they start the year off on a clean slate.

9. Wearing white and jumping over seven waves, Brazil

BrazilThe most obvious custom is wearing a completely white outfit to symbolize peace and renewal, but there’s another tradition stemming from the Afro-Brazilian religion called Candomblé that originated from slaves in Bahia. After the clock strikes midnight, people head to the sea and jump over seven waves. This is so that they earn the goodwill of Iemanjá, goddess of the sea.

10. Roosters predicting marriage, Belarus

Image Credits: Image credits: www.travelandleisure.com
Image Credits: Image credits: www.travelandleisure.com

During the traditional celebration of Kaliady, still-unmarried women place a pile of corn is before them, and a rooster is let go; whichever pile the rooster approaches first reveals who will be the first to marry.


  1. Cheese and sweet cakes

    Big Cheese Drop, Plymouth

Image Credits: www.visitsheboygancounty.com

While the people in Switzerland herald in the new year by dropping ice cream, the town of Plymouth, Wisconsin witnesses a big cheese drop. Every New Year’s Eve the town holds the Big Cheese Drop to help celebrate the dairy industry. Supposedly, a local artist creates an 80-pound chunk of Styrofoam cheese which is dropped from a height of 30 metres at the stroke of midnight. Naturally, you’ll find plenty of cheese-related refreshments, music, and games to fuel the lively atmosphere!

Sweet Coins, Bolivia

Image Credits: viralluxury.com
Image Credits: viralluxury.com

While food is concerned, people in Bolivia are not far behind. In Bolivia coins are baked into sweets and whoever finds the coins has good luck for the next year.

While each of these customs appear strange to us, they do share an optimism that’s hard to not appreciate. To some the New Year is just another set of months and days, for others it’s an avenue to begin afresh and open their doors for new experiences and new beginnings! Here’s to creating our own traditions this New Year’s eve!

Out with the old, in with the new. Happy New Year!

Feature Image Credits: www.worldreligionnews.com

Surbhi Arora

[email protected]