How To Celebrate Christmas In Mumbai

Christmas ornaments | © Susanne Nilsson/Flickr
Christmas ornaments | © Susanne Nilsson/Flickr
Christmas is celebrated with much fervor in Mumbai, and it isn’t just the city’s dynamic Christian – mostly Catholic – community that makes sure it is done right. Mumbaikars from across the religious spectrum have their own ways of celebrating this special occasion. With well-attended Masses held at historic churches, citywide jolly decorations, Christmas-themed parties and events, and plenty of festive dining options, Christmas in Mumbai is an affair not to miss!

Christmas Midnight Mass

Mumbai is home to many historic churches, most of which hold special Christmas Midnight Masses that attract thousands of faithful from across the city. The following three churches are particularly popular for Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.

Mount Mary’s Basilica, Bandra

This landmark basilica near the Taj Lands End in Bandra sits atop a hillock overlooking the Arabian Sea. The first edifice at the hillock is considered to have been built around 1570, with it having been rebuilt in 1640 and then again in 1760. While the current church structure is only over one hundred years old, the church’s statue of Mother Mary is believed to have been brought to India by the Portuguese in the 16th century. With carols starting around 11:30 pm, Mount Mary Basilica’s Midnight Mass draws an audience not only from Bandra but also the entire city.


Gloria Church, Byculla

Though originally dating to 1632 when it was built at the foot of the Mazagaon hill, this majestic church was shifted to its current Byculla location between the years 1911 and 1913. With iconic tall towers and impressive stained glass, this English Gothic-style church is one of Byculla’s most popular landmarks. Attending Midnight Mass here is one of the best ways to celebrate Christmas Eve in the city.

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Saint Andrew’s Church

While not a ‘Midnight’ Mass per se – considering it starts at 10:30 pm – the Christmas Mass at this historic Bandra church is among the most popular in the city. Built by Portuguese Jesuits in 1575, this church has been a landmark in Bandra for over four centuries. Overlooking the Arabian Sea, Saint Andrew’s is a truly magical place in which to spend Christmas Eve.

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Christmas Street Shopping

Mumbai’s many fabulous markets transform around this time of year to cater to all of your Christmas shopping needs – from Christmas trees and decorative ornaments to Santa costumes. Hill Road in Bandra is the city’s top Christmas shopping stop. You will find streetside stalls selling decoration items, festive sweets, and treats at very affordable prices. Colaba Causeway in Colaba and Crawford Market in Fort are your best options if you are looking to shop for Christmas decorations or other items in South Mumbai.


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Christmas Parties

Many of the city’s favorite bars and nightclubs host coveted Christmas Eve parties. With celebrity DJs spinning the hippest tracks, plenty of festive-themed food and drinks, plus energetic crowds, you are sure to have a good time. Exo at the Palladium Hotel in Lower Parel and Trilogy in Juhu host some of the most happening Christmas parties in Mumbai every year.

📸- @theweaero

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Christmas Dinner

Fear not if you are not planning on cooking or heading over to anyone’s home for your Christmas meal this year. The city’s restaurants offer a range of Christmas Eve as well as Christmas day meal options. Indigo, among the best restaurants in the city, as well as Lotus Cafe at the JW Marriott Hotel are sought-after choices for a Christmas meal splurge.