Pre-Christmas celebrations begin across India
Pre-Christmas celebrations have begun across India, with cities getting decorated for the revelry, and churches practicing and organising regular midnight masses.
There is a hustle and a bustle in markets, as Christians who make up around two percent of India's 1.2 billion strong population, and have their largest concentration in the southern and north-eastern states, are shopping with vigour for Christmas, which falls next Tuesday.
Christmas is a very special occasion in India and people prepare special dishes for the day.
Indian curries and other regional delicacies make Indian Christmas special.
Locals lined up to attend the midnight mass, along with children singing Christmas carols in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.
Thousands of people gathered to catch a glimpse of 45 feet tall Christmas tree.
The entire city is decorated with revelry which makes it the perfect place to be at the time of Christmas.
A visitor, Evan, said: "It's great to be here with one of the largest Christmas trees in Coimbatore. It has beautiful decorations and it just gets me really excited for this Christmas season, laughter of joy and of sharing with the family. I am so excited to be here in India for this time and we are just really pleased to be near to one of the biggest Christmas trees in Coimbatore."
Markets in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, also witnessed a heavy rush with thousands of people flooding the shops decked up with the decorative items ahead of Christmas.
People are making a beeline for shops to buy attractive Christmas trees, cakes, gifts and decorative bells, despite skyrocketing prices.
"We are in the preparation of the Christmas and we are visiting this stall to buy some items for our Christmas tree and as the rates of the petrol, gas, everything has gone up, so the rates of these items are also reaching the sky. But the items are really good," said Pawani, a local resident.
An exuberant wave of festive cheers has also gripped India's northeastern state of Assam, as people prepared for the festival with gusto and high spirits.
The three-day cake fest has been organised from December 20 to December 22.
Bakers in Guwahati city geared up to create a mammoth Christmas cake as markets witness a heavy rush with people purchasing exclusive decorative items ahead of the festival.
One of the participants, Ruli Das, said: "This is the only cake festival which is organised in Assam where many people come to enjoy. Eating cakes and other bakery items in this season is just great."