A walk down the promenade at Fort Kochi is an unique experience anytime of the year. The Chinese fishing nets dot the area and come December there is a festive spirit in the air. Carnival flags go up and this year is extra special. The celebrations; Christmas and New Year merge with the Kochi Biennale making this place one of the most popular places to visit this season.
History sleeps in Fort Kochi and Mattanchery, even as life moves in the fast pace. There are nooks and corners in Jew Town where time has stopped racing ahead. The churches in the area have a close link with the Portuguese who ruled the land for over a century. And it is in these churches that people throng for the midnight masses every Christmas eve. It is a tradition, which has been handed down generations.
The St Francis church was built by the Portuguese way back in 1503, one of the oldest European churches on Indian soil. It was made with wood and later rebuilt in 1516. A glance at the history of the church will leave you awestruck. The mortal remains of Vasco Da Gama was housed in this church before being taken to Lisbon. Christmas here is a simple affair. The midnight mass, held in all its serenity. There are morning masses too and then, most of the people head home. To celebrate the spirit of Kochi with their dear and near ones.
The Santa Cruz Basilica is a heritage site. In 1505, Francisco de Almeida, the first Portuguese viceroy got permission from the king of Cochin to build a church. This Gothic style church is decked up with lights for Christmas. The celebrations, peaceful. The church bells peel merrily on Christmas day.
You can head out to the many hotels which boast of Christmas special menus. Or, if you are ready to explore, and feeling adventurous you can head out to the promenade, there are various shacks which cook up the catch of the day.
Check out the various artists showcase their best at the Biennale, head out to the beach and watch the sun go down. And peace be with you.