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Christmas Week At Windamere Hotel, Darjeeling

By Author: Ackley Cooper Shaw
Total Articles: 211

India has always been a land of festivities and celebrations. The most amazing fact about the events and festivals in this country is that the Western festivals receive an equal amount of importance as their more traditional counterparts. Two such extremely popular Western, especially Christian, events are Easter and Christmas which witness an immense amount of participation from people belonging to various parts and various cultural backgrounds of India.

Although Christianity constitutes of a minor 2.3% of India’s total population, this event is celebrated not only in the churches and Christian communities across the country but also in numerous non-Christian households. Days before this festival arrives, markets are decorated with festoons, balloons, images of Santa, traditional Christmas trees, stars and other Christmas decorations. Products are manufactured exclusively for this occasion and various advertising promotions are launched through television, radio and newspapers. One such place where people from all over the globe choose to visit during this time of the year is Darjeeling, a popular tourist destination in West Bengal.

You are definitely in for an ethereal treat if it actually snows in Darjeeling during the Christmas week. The authentic Christmas feeling merged with the pristine white snow-covered roads and buildings is a true spectacle to behold. If you take a walk along the beautifully lighted Darjeeling Mall during the Christmas evening, it is very hard to believe that you are not in a Christian land. The entire town is decked up with flowers, lightings, and typical Christmas decorations. The eating joints always have something new for the occasion. You will also find people dressed up as Santa and distributing chocolates and other small gifts, much to the delight of adults and kids alike. The hotels in Darjeeling have special arrangements and are packed up with visitors who come to be a part of the extraordinary Christmas celebrations.

The Windamere Hotel Darjeeling, built in the 1930s by the British government ruling India, held on to the traditions and kept them intact. The ‘Christmas Week’ of Windamere is a massive crowd-puller. Since 1939, this event has been an integral part of this place without any interruption. From 18th December to 1st January every year, it has been a ritual of this heritage hotel to entertain its guests. Well-known global entertainers perform at the Windamere and entertain the guests during this week. Traditionally, performers from the famous West End Theatre District of London participate in the festivities. In recent years, entertainers from America, Canada, France, New Zealand and Australia have also captivated the audiences at the Windamere. Last year in 2011, the showstoppers were Australian jazz artists Danny Bourne and Hetty Kate. This year from the West End Stage, the ‘Totties’ – Carolyn Allen and Paul Smith are slated to return to Windamere to amuse and enthrall with their crazy antics, mesmerizing songs, and titillating humor. Christmas Carols are sung by local ‘Darjeeling Hills’ choir. Added to this is the tribal dance performance at the Windamere garden.

Christmas in India has received a newer meaning due to the Windamere. For some guests, Windamere is like the only Christmas destination. When they come, they also book rooms for the next year. Reservation of the rooms for Christmas can be done at any point of the year – but you need to plan way ahead to get a guaranteed spot at Windamere during Christmas.

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