The occasion is a merry time for both retailers and wholesalers in southern India, who are doing brisk business ahead of the festival.
Consumers are thronging the markets of Kerala, buying twinkling Xmas stars, fir or pine trees, cribs and decorative items, which form a vital part of the Christmas celebrations.
"I have to buy stars as stars are the most attractive element of Christmas. I have travelled all across India but the wide variety of stars as seen in Kerala cannot be seen in any other state in India," said a customer, Keerthinath.
According to shop owners at Kochi's Broadway Market, the Xmas stars are imported from China and last long as compared to the traditional paper stars, though it may cost little higher but lasts long.
Wholesale and retail markets for this year's Christmas sales have already geared up, though the purchase took off late this year.
"Everyone, whether Christians, Hindus are visiting the marketplace. This festival is mainly awaited by children so we see a surge in Christmas shopping especially for the kids," said a shop owner, Jeevan.
The rush of customers can be seen in the markets for buying contemporary to traditional Christmas tree decorations including baubles, tree toppers and lights for homes, churches and offices.
Shopkeepers are making a quick buck as varieties of Christmas stars are selling like hot cakes.
Regardless of caste and creed, Keralites celebrate Christmas with great pomp and merry making, as it an occasion for family reunion, feasts and picnics.
Kerala, the small coastal state, popularly known as God's own country, is believed to be the cradle of Christian civilization in the country, ever since Saint Thomas made it his land of missionary zeal.
--ANI (Posted on 20-12-2013)