Rashmi Rekha Das

With a few hours left for Christmas celebrations to begin, Odisha is all decked up with colourful lights.

After two years of gap, the state is going to celebrate Christmas with fanfare. That’s why churches have got makeovers across the state. Tableaux based on the life of Jesus Christ are being readied to be displayed.

Starting from Cuttack, Koraput, Sambalpur districts to Koraput district, the administrations have left no stone unturned to deck up the churches.

At the same time, Kandhamal district administration has beefed up security arrangements to avoid any untoward incident during the Christmas celebration. Kandhamal police, meanwhile, conducted a flag march and appealed the residents to maintain peace and celebrate Christmas happily.

It is learnt that as many as six platoons of police force have been deployed in Kandhamal district as part of measures to combat any unpleasant situation. Police have also tightened patrolling at major squares for a peaceful celebration.

On the other hand, Christ followers are on cloud nine to celebrate the big day.

Meanwhile, roadside vendors are doing brisk business by selling Santa’s costumes. Many gift shops are too seen selling Santa’s costumes, gifts, Christmas trees, balloons and other decorative items for Christmas. Cake shops have also witnessed a rush of customers to get cakes and sweets to make the celebration a grand one.

“We have bought Santa Claus caps, cakes and Christmas tree to celebrate the occasion at home. We will also distribute Santa caps among inmates of orphanage to make them smile. As Santa Claus Cap is a craze among children, every year we buy it and distribute cakes among them”, said a resident of Bhubaneswar.

GR Raghabendra, Sub-divisional police officer of Baliguda said, “We have deployed six platoons of police at Baliguda and Barakhama for both Christmas and New Year celebrations. Deputy Superintendent of Police will visit tomorrow to take stock of the security arrangement. We have intensified police patrolling across the district. Besides, we have deployed police personnel near churches to avoid any sort of unpleasant situation.