Men and women, young and old were all seen with liquor bottles. No, they were not drinking, but pouring.

The traditional ceremony of cake mixing was organised at the Fortune Pandiyan Hotel in Madurai on Thursday.

Many liquor bottles were emptied on a huge pile of finely sliced dry fruits such as raisins, red cherries, tutti-frutti and dates. The Roman mythology has it that Christmas is welcomed with this ancient traditional community event where all family members get together and soak fruits in brandy. Honey, vanilla essence and other ingredients are also mixed.

"Come December, one of the good things to look forward is Christmas, along with the cake. It is believed that more the number of people involved in stirring the mixture, the better and bountiful will the year ahead be," says G. Vasudevan, Director, Fortune Pandiyan Hotel.

Christmas is no fun without the traditional cake and at the same time making the cake is not easy.

"The first step towards making the cake is the mixing process which is a ritual religiously followed done the world over," adds the hotel's General Manager, Sameeth Guha.