The Christian fisher folk living in the Tangasseri-Vaddy fishing hamlets of Kollam city have a unique tradition on celebrating Christmas. That is only day of the year male members of the community take their family into the sea as part of their Christmas celebrations.
Families wake up early in the morning and after breakfast prepare a brunch which they pack up. Then entire families which even comprise grandparents and young kids board the traditional crafts and sail into the sea.
It is a celebration on board and the all the family members sing songs which are mostly religious as they sail. At intervals they also pray. Relatives are sometimes seen sailing together in a fleet of traditional fishing crafts.
And that is the only occasion the women and children of the fishing community get the opportunity of close encounter with the horizon they see from their hamlets on the sea shore. Though the sea is usually calm during Christmas time, the sail gives them an idea about how strenuous it is for their male folk to earn their livelihood.
Somewhere close to the horizon they have brunch and return back singing. It all takes close to two hours and when they reach the shore they are in the right mood to enjoy a sumptuous Christmas lunch as they also look forward to the next sail to the horizon on Christmas next year.
Keywords: Christmas celebrations