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State revels in Christmas celebration

Bhubaneswar: Feasting, partying and gift giving throughout the intervening chilling night of Tuesday marked the yuledite spirit of the Christian fraternity in the state. Much before the clock struck the double digit number, commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, the revellers swung into festive mood with newly dressed children singing classic jingle bell song.

While members of the Christian community were seen busy with midnight prayers and wishes, children took up the cake cutting route of sumptuous cakes to celebrate the annual occasion. All the churches in the state were decked up with illuminating lights. The spine chilling cold in places like Kandhamal, which has been recording single digit night temperature for past few days failed to deter the party animals from merry making.

“Merry Christmas to all. It is just the beginning of festivities which will continue for a week. We wish peace and happiness for all our brothers and sisters,” said Herman Joseph, a reveller.

“We will feast and pile gifts under the lit up Coniferous trees,” said Minz, a native of Krushnachadrapur in Mayurbhanj district while elaborating his day-long plan.

According to reports, Kandhamal district, which had witnessed communal riots in 2008 and tension in subsequent years, is celebrating a peaceful Christmas this year with different communities joining hands for the purpose.

"All communities have resolved for a peaceful celebration of Christmas," Collector B S Punia said.

To maintain law and order in vulnerable places in the district comprising sizeable Christian population, armed policemen were deployed in villages as well as selected churches from December 22 to ward off any threat, DSP, Phulbani, Gupta Prasad Behera said.

(With agency inputs)

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