Kolkata Christmas Festival: in its ninth edition, this year’s festival on Park Street is from December 16-30

Dazzling lights, smell of freshly baked cakes and sumptuous food wafting in the air, Christmas trees and streamers outside shops, Santa’s red caps worn by nearly every pedestrian, Kolkata’s Park Street during Christmas is delightfully different from what is looks like for the rest of the year!

The Kolkata Christmas Festival this year will start from December 16, state Information and Cultural Affairs & Tourism Minister Indranil Sen today said at a press meet. To be inaugurated by chief minister Mamata Banerjee, the festival will continue till December 30.

The festival had been kicked off in this grand scale in 2011, and this year is the festival’s ninth edition. Cultural programs – part of the festival – will start from December 17. Eminent artistes will perform in the festival along with Kolkata Police’s own band.

The festival is organised keeping in with the chief minister’s goal of making Bengal an international tourism destination, Sen said. He added that like the Durga Puja Carnival, the Christmas Festival is also increasingly being attended by people from other countries for the past few years.

So what will be the spread like at the Kolkata Christmas Festival? There will be stalls with home-made food – from Chinese soup, momos, noodles to pastas, cakes and pastries.

Want to know what else you can do in the city – and elsewhere in West Bengal – especially around this time of the year? Just head to the information kiosk of the state tourism department at the festival premises to know.

The entire Park Street area and the adjoining areas of Allen Park and St. Paul’s Cathedral Church will be lit up throughout the entire duration of the festival. Churches in nine other places in the state – Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong, Siliguri, Jalpaiguri, Chandannagar, Bandel, Krishnanagar and Baruipur – will also be decorated to mark the celebrations. Cultural programs will also be held at Chandannagar church and Biswa Bangla Haat in Siliguri.

This year’s Christmas Festival will be different from the past years as two new sections are being introduced this year. One, the Kolkata Christmas Green Quiz in which students from various schools of the city will be participating, and two, a green awareness program which will be conducted by some NGOs. Some women self-help groups from Howrah will set up stalls with potted plants inside Allen Park to spread the message of the green campaign.

The festival is being organised jointly by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, Kolkata Police, Information and Cultural Affairs Department and Apeejay Surrendra Group.

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