There was no turkey dinner during Christmas in Goa this year. Instead there was fish and vodka.

I haven’t been home for Christmas in a couple of years now, and each year I spend in a country that doesn’t really celebrate Christmas, it feels more distant. Sure they put up decorations and get drunk wearing cheap Santa hats they bought from the woman on the side of the road, but spending Christmas on the beach in India just doesn’t have the same feeling as being home in the snow.

Christmas in a Beach Hut in Goa

It’s strange waking up Christmas morning and walking out of a hut onto sand and 30 degree weather. There are no presents waiting under a tree. There isn’t really a tree.

There is a cactus the guys that run the beach huts where I live have put Christmas lights on, and some other backpackers have decorated a sort of stick in the ground. What more do you really need?

For more about where I live on the beach have a look at my return to this paradise here.

Christmas in Goa

The general statement I hear from other travellers when I ask them how the feel about Christmas in Goa is that they don’t really like Christmas in general. Some do, some miss being home, but most don’t. I don’t blame them, I’ve never been a huge fan myself. Sort of makes sense that we have all escaped to Goa to hide from the holidays.

The Food During Christmas in Goa

Back in Canada everyone will be eating turkey, that goes without saying. During Christmas in Goa we ate fish. This is actually quite common for Europeans on Christmas, and since I was the only non-European and they don’t have turkeys in India, fish was the logical choice, along with cheap vodka of course.

A few friends and I decided we would have a nice Christmas dinner together. First, of course, we stopped by the shop to buy a couple $3 bottles of vodka, only the best during Christmas in Goa.

We sat on the floor of a raised platform and ate a feast of fish. Seriously $7, which is expensive by Indian standards, gets a genuine Christmas feast. We bought bottles of club soda and poured our own vodka; the restaurant didn’t mind. We needed a little Christmas music so the obvious choice was to connect one of our phones to their sound system and play some ASAP Rocky.

We stayed for hours eating and drinking vodka while listening to rap music on Christmas; it was perfect.

Christmas Celebrations in Goa

The parties in Goa during Christmas are non-stop. They are mostly trance and techno parties with weirdo’s dancing and doing weird things. Not my usual cup of tea.

Some friends of mine went the Sunburn music festival, the biggest of its kind in Asia. It is still going on now so maybe I will check it out, but realistically probably not.

Every night there is party going on, although in my opinion they are all much the same. I prefer t drink with friends on the beach than to pay for watered down drinks in of the bars.

That said, I certainly have gone out, and certainly will again, but dancing with hippies isn’t high on my list of productive priorities.

Hiding from Reality in Goa

Arambol is a strange little place where people seem to hide from reality. The usual suspects you see walking around here don’t look like the type to be carving a turkey with 3 generations of family or saying what they are grateful for; and that’s because they aren’t that type.

They are strange Goa people.

Goa is the fringe. Christmas in Goa is like Christmas on the fringe of society. People here celebrate, but no one really seems to care about it; it’s just an excuse for parties.

No one is giving expensive gifts or giving into consumerism. Hippies frown on consumerism. Living on the beach we are not bombarded with advertisements of the latest things that we absolutely must buy. The Goan fringe doesn’t care for such nonsense. I admit, it is slightly refreshing at times.

There is so much stress back home over Christmas. When you live in a beach hut in Goa for less than $500 a month the stress level remains fairly low.

No one here is racking up credit cards that take months to pay off only to be re-inflated half a year later when Christmas comes back around.

Instead there are palm trees.

Christmas in Goa

Why Spend Christmas in Goa

Christmas in Goa is the perfect place to hide. There is no pressure. There is no stress. No one cares what he or she is getting and no one asks for anything. No one asks what you got because hippies don’t care.

People seem to come to places like India, Thailand, or any other tropical place to hide from the holidays.

We still celebrate, but it is different. We spend our time with new friends talking about what Christmas is like back home. We still get together with good food and drinks but we forgo the pressure placed upon us.

I am really starting to sound like a hippie. This upcoming motorcycle trip should sort my mind out. If I’m not careful, I will find myself, 2 months from now, at the sunset hippie drum circle talking about nonsense with other hippies.

Christmas has Come and Gone in India

So what now?

Christmas celebrations in India have passed. It’s back to being a beach paradise as it was before. If you have followed along this story you know that I have recently purchased a Royal Enfield motorcycle and plan to drive through India.

If you haven’t been following along read about buying a Royal Enfield in India here, then start following!

I will spend the next few days researching the upcoming ride and getting my bike in proper condition for the tour. It is at the mechanic as I type this.

If you would like to follow along as well on this epic motorcycle tour please subscribe to receive the latest updates!

Have you spent Christmas in Goa? What did you think? Do you agree with how I feel about it? Let me know in the comments section below and don’t forget to share this article and spread the word!

6 Responses

  1. Jo (The Blonde)

    Last year I spent my Christmas in Bali and it was great. I met a lot of people and had so much fun. This year it was a bit different. I live permanently in Thailand, and I think that if you have some sort of home, and some sort of stability, you start missing the family and decorating the Christmas tree, and the food. I did miss being at home this year…
    Jo (The Blonde) recently posted…A ladyboy as the Virgin Mary? Why not? It is Thailand after all! Christmas activities at schoolMy Profile

    • Alex

      Hi Jo, Thank you for reading! Besides missing home a bit I hope you had a very merry Christmas. Alex.

  2. Katie

    I am glad to have found your blog Alex. I am headed to India in a few days, and I plan on traveling around the country for awhile. I thought of skipping Goa, as people say it is overrated, but your posts makes me rethink Goa! Your Christmas experience in Goa is definitely my cup of tea, Christmas at home is overrated anyway! I am excited to see how your motorcycle trip goes and what destinations you visit along the way.
    Katie recently posted…The Best of Travel 2014My Profile

    • Alex

      Hi Katie, thanks for reading! If you have any questions about India Id be happy to help!

  3. Em

    Sounds like my kind of Christmas! Nice and relaxed. No buying/receiving presents that you didn’t want in the first place. No crowded shopping malls… just the sand, sunset and relaxing ….. Bliss

    I’ve had both a summer and winter Christmas before, but never a non commercialism one