Christmas & New Year in Kolkata : The Complete Guide



Its Christmas in Kolkata and it is the time again the city of joy decks ups in beautiful lights. Christmas and New Year in Kolkata is special just like Durga Puja and until you are in Kolkata during Christmas you will not be able to get a feel of it.

Christmas in Kolkata is the time when people of Kolkata have yummylicious cakes, party the old colonial way and just have fun. This fun atmosphere extends from Christmas to New Year in Kolkata. There are lots of things to do in Kolkata during Christmas and New Year. If you plan to spend your Christmas or New Year in Kolkata then keep on reading the blog as Shoestring Travel brings exciting things to do during Christmas and New Year.





Few Days before Christmas & New Year in Kolkata


Just a few days before Christmas the entire city of Kolkata starts decking up with lights, The bakery starts smelling of the plum cakes and it’s the season to have yummylicious plum cakes. Christmas cake in Kolkata is something you should never miss.



Christmas is the time when the bakeries of Kolkata open their gates to the general public so that they can come and bake the Christmas Cakes for their family and loved ones. There is nothing like an authentic Christmas Cake baked in old bakeries of Kolkata where baking these Christmas cakes is perfected over the years. Most of these bakeries use old ways of baking in a clay oven.
Head to one of these bakeries and get yourself an authentic Christmas cake.

SALDANHA BAKERY

This is one of the oldest bakeries in Kolkata and they bake cakes all year round. The bakery was started in the year 1930 by Ubelina Saldanha.

During the Christmas season, they make special Christmas cakes. You can buy Fruit Cake or Walnut Cake or Plain Cake.The bakery remains open from 9am-9pm. They sell ready-made Christmas cakes, however, if you want to get a Christmas Cake according to your choice you have to place an order well in advance. During Christmas in Kolkata, the demand for the Christmas Cakes rise and hence every bakery will have their hands full.

Address : 19, Nawab Abdur Rahman St, Taltala, Kolkata, West Bengal 700016



BARUA DA’S CAKE SHOP or J N BARUA CAKE SHOP



Its Christmas in Kolkata and how we can’t mention about Bow Barracks. Barua Da’s cake shop also known as Mantu Cake Shop is well renowned in Kolkata. People buy cakes here through generations.

It is said that once you have a cake from Barua Da’s Cakeshop during Christmas in Kolkata you come back every year. The shop is now more than 70 years old. The cakes at J N Barua’s cake shop is reasonably priced compared to other shops in Kolkata. They are famous for Chhana Pudding which is a cake made out of Chhena.



Chhena are curds or cheese curds, originating from the Indian subcontinent, made from water buffalo or regular cow milk by adding food acids such as lemon juice instead of rennet and straining. It is very similar or analogous to cottage cheese.

A visit to the J N Barua Cake is a must-do during Christmas in Kolkata.

Address : 6 Robert Street , Kolkata -12

NAHOUM BAKERY



You ask anyone from Kolkata where to get a Christmas cake people will most likely take the name of Nahoum.

It is almost like a tradition to get a cake from Nahoum during Christmas in Kolkata. This bakery is more than 100 years old. Head to New Market and ask anyone where is Nahoum and without google maps you will be able to find this place.



Taste Marzipan and Patties which is also a must-try at Nahoum Bakery.

Address : F17 – F20 & F47 -50, New Market (SS Hogg Market)

Christmas in Kolkata : Christmas Eve & Christmas Day


Kolkata gets decked up like a bride during the Christmas. The Christmas in celebrated with pomp and show in the central part of Kolkata.

Few places not be missed on the Christmas eve is Park Street , Bow Barracks and few churches.

Bow Barracks in Kolkata


On the Christmas eve ( i.e. 24th December) head to Bow Barracks. The most interesting part of the Christmas celebration is that Santa Claus arrives in a Rickshaw. During Christmas in Kolkata, only place in the world where Santa Claus arrives in a rickshaw with loads of gifts.



At the heart of Kolkata near Chittaranjan Avenue, you will find a cluster of red brick apartments, called Bow Barracks. Apparently built to accommodate soldiers during World War 1, it was later converted to housing for Anglo Indians by Calcutta Improvement Trust. But without maintenance, the buildings -- arranged in compact uniform blocks -- look dilapidated. The residents who stay here are called anglo Indians by the locals.



But it is a transformed place during Christmas in Kolkata. Christmas celebration begins a week in advance at Bowbarrack.The anglo Indians hold various programs the entire week before Christmas.



The best time to visit Bow Barracks are in the evening. The entire place is lit up with fairy lights. Canopies of lights cover the quadrangles. The buildings are illuminated. Carol singers mingle with the crowd. Children enjoy a turn in the merry-go-round. Music programs up the festive mood and people are not averse to dancing to the beat. The local residents set up stalls and sell home-made food.


Midnight Mass in Christmas Eve in Kolkata


On 24th December approximately around 10pm head to any of the churches below to attend the midnight mass. Midnight mass is absolutely something not to be missed during Christmas in Kolkata.
 
Head to St Paul’s Cathedral. This is one of the most popular churches in Kolkata. Hundreds of people head to St Pauls’s Cathedral from the midnight mass. You will find carolers singing Christmas carols surrounded by candlelight. Here the midnight mass is a beautiful experience. You need to reach there early if you want to get an entry as mostly the church gets full soon and you have to stand outside if you don’t reach there early.

Another church you can go to is the Old Mission Church. This church was constructed in the 18th century and is one of the oldest churches in Kolkata. The choir here is amazing and will keep you spellbound.



 If you want to go to a church that is centrally located and not frequented by tourists a lot you can head to the Church of Christ The King. This church is located in Park Circus at the heart of the city. The carols here are beautiful and the yuletide spirit soul-touching.

Enjoy the midnight mass during Christmas in Kolkata.

By the time you end enjoying the midnight mass it will be almost 2am and you need to take rest for the next day.


Christmas in Parkstreet in Kolkata


If you want to get a glimpse of how West End Christmas Light look in London or get a feel of Trafalgar square Christmas tree looks like head to Parkstreet in Kolkata on 25th December.



One word of caution if you don’t like too much crowd then don’t think to go to parkstreet on Christmas. Almost all of Kolkata transcends to Park street on Christmas in Kolkata wearing Santa Claus hats. If you planning to drive down then think twice as getting a space of parking is extremely tough and the entire road is blocked for traffic.



However I would still suggest you to head to Parkstreet on Christmas to get a feel of Chirstmas in Kolkata. Parkstreet is known as the party street in Kolkata which is dotted with restaurants and pubs.

Parkstreet gets its Christmas lighting almost 10 days before Christmas. The lighting of Parkstreet is worth seeing. You should head to Allan Park. You will find lots of stalls on the pavements of parkstreet serving delicacies during the Christmas.



New Year in Kolkata


Well, Christmas is over and now what to do. Don’t feel sad as Kolkata has to offer much more things during New Year. Christmas in Kolkata is experience however Kolkata will not leave you wanting for more.

One of the unique experience Kolkata has to offer is the 1st January Horse Race at Royal CalcuttaTurf Club

The Royal Calcutta Turf Club (RCTC), founded in 1847 in Calcutta, became the premier horse racing organization in India during the British era. During its heyday, the races it organized were among the most important social events of the calendar, opened by the Viceroy of India. During the 1930s the Calcutta Derby Sweeps, organized by the club, was the largest sweepstake in the world. It is still an exclusive private club and still operates the Kolkata Race Course.



Attending the 1st January Horse Race is one in a lifetime opportunity and shouldn’t be missed. Royal Calcutta Turf Club is exclusive for members however on 1st January RCTC opens it gates for the general public to enjoy the races. It’s almost a tradition for many families to attend the Horse Race on the first day of the New year in Kolkata.



Before the New Year in Kolkata head to the main gate and buy New Year Pass ( as on 2019 new year the pass cost was merely Rs200). You can buy the passes on the same day however I would suggest buying in advance. The sound of the running horses to win the races will make you high for the entire new year.



So come to Kolkata and enjoy Christmas in Kolkata and New Year.

Shoestring Travel wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in Advance.

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