Odisha revels in Christmas festivities

Bhubaneswar: People from all walks of life soaked in festive fervour as Odisha celebrated Christmas amidst carols, greetings and prayers. Festive spirit gripped several parts of the State including the twin cities Cuttack & Bhubaneswar, Rourkela, Kandhamal, and Sambalpur as people turned up in huge numbers at cathedrals and churches to offer prayers and participate in midnight mass late yesterday night.

Churches, shops, houses wore new looks and adorned with colourful illuminations, X-Mas trees, candles and balloons.

In Cuttack, people congregated at the Catholic Church near Cantonment Road to witness the birth ceremony of Lord Jesus and joined the midnight mass. At the stroke of the midnight people wished ‘Merry Christmas’ to each other and exchanged gifts.

On the occasion of Christmas, morning prayers, cake cutting and other celebrations will be organised.

Steel City Rourkela also celebrated the occasion with pomp and gaiety. All kinds of arrangements were made for peaceful celebrations of Christmas which will continue till December 31.Thousands congregated at several churches across the city including the Catholic Church at Hamirpur to welcome Lord Jesus by lighting candles.

Similarly in Kandhamal, Christmas celebrations have begun amid tight security. On the eve of the special occasion, people are participating in different activities ranging from official gatherings to cake cutting accompanied with music and dance at several places across the district.

In Bhubaneswar, celebrations for this year’s Christmas are also in full swing. People marked the occasion of Christmas by thronging several cathedrals and Churches late on Monday night. St Vincent’s Catholic Church in Satya Nagar was beautifully decked with lights, stars and bells.

“Christmas is a special occasion to shower our love and affection on others. On this day we participate in cake cutting and singing of carols and it brings us closer to each other,” said a resident of Bhubaneswar.

Pastor of St Vincent’s Catholic Church in Satya Nagar said “The Christian community is blessed to celebrate the special occasion to mark the birth of Lord Jesus. On this day, we share feelings of brotherhood, love, justice and unity to make this world a better place according to the direction of the Lord.”