Rojalin Mishra

Kandhamal : With only a day left before the beginning of Christmas celebrations in Odisha, preparations for the mega religious event are on full swing amid tight security.

While Baptist and Catholic churches in Kandhamal, Sundergarh, twin cities Cuttack and Bhubaneswar, Balasore and Rourkela are wearing all new looks, Christian community members are busy giving last-minute touches to their preparations to mark this important occasion in harmonious manner.

Followers of Christian community will celebrate the grand festival through different activities ranging from official gatherings to cake cutting accompanied with music and dance along with prayers from tomorrow onwards.

"Like every year, we have made a lot of preparations for Christmas celebration. Currently we are practicing various songs that will be presented on the Christmas Day" said Suprabha Mishra, a resident of Phulbani.

"We are trying our best to celebrate the day in a peaceful manner. I wish this festival will bring love, peace and harmony in everyone's life" said Pastor Nabakishore of Phulbani Catholic Church said.

Apart from this, security arrangements have been tightened and police have intensified patrolling in Maoist sensitive areas of the State to ensure peaceful celebrations of the occasion.

"Police personnel across the district have been alerted and strict vigil is being maintained in sensitive areas in order to prevent any untoward incident during this festive occasion" said Kandhamal Superintendent of Police Pratap Singh.

"Mobile party, static and striking forces have also been engaged to maintain law and order. We have also sent requisition for allotment of 21 platoons of armed forces to provide security to the people round the clock," he added.

On the other hand, Christmas fever gripped several parts of the State including Bhubaneswar and Cuttack as cathedrals, churches, commercial establishments and individual houses belonging to Christian community are being adorned with colorful illuminations, X-mass trees, balloons and candles.

In Bhubaneswar, preparations for this year’s Christmas celebrations are in full swing at St Vincent’s Catholic Church in Satya Nagar here. Like previous years, the organisers have bedecked the worship place and its premises with lights, stars, bells, music and chimes.

The Christian community prepares to celebrate the festival with more enthusiasm and renewed spirit. The grand festival of Christian community will be marked through different activities ranging from official gatherings to cake cutting accompanied with music and dance. The churches are also being renovated and decorated beautifully for the joyous occasion.

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