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Christmas celebrated in Odisha with joy
26 December 2017, 12:22 | Bernice Figueroa
St. Mary's Church Secunderabad all decked up for Christmas on Monday
In Gulmarg's Saint Mary's church, Santa Claus distributed chocolates and candies among the children. "Due to last year's unrest, celebrations were restricted only to prayers", he said, adding, "This year, too, there were no special functions as our focus mostly remained on the message of peace and love, and spirituality".
Earlier, choir group of Cathedral presented Christmas carols ushering the faithful to the festal Eucharistic Celebration. As I have loved you, so also you must love one another. At homes, the kids were busy while picking up and decorating Christmas trees, dressing up in red and white, and planning Christmas dinners. Before the downpours began, modest numbers of onlookers mulled about Manger Square and a steady stream of visitors paid respects at the Church of the Nativity.
Archbishop of Goa and Daman, Filipe Neri Ferrao, in his message, appealed to the people to spread the message of peace, love and harmony.
Church was responding to a letter from an 8-year-old reader asking whether there is a Santa Claus - a fairly narrow question. According to several media reports, mostly tourists, including foreigners, prayed inside the church in Gulmarg, gathering there despite the harsh cold and several feet of snow.
The biggest Mass in the Valley was held at the Holy Family Catholic Church at Maulana Azad Road here, where hundreds of Christians, including women and children, assembled to celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ and held special prayers.
For many Americans and many people throughout the world, today celebrates the birth of Christ and the promise of eternal life. "We organise small functions on three Sundays of December", Michel said.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik extended warm greetings to Christians residing in Orissa and outside.
"Unfortunately, the Middle East suffers from instability and we hope Christmas will be the beginning of the end for intolerance toward others", Özmen said. "We celebrate the festival in our own way here but our priority remains to propagate the message of love and peace", he said. The members of the Christian community met their relatives and friends and exchanged greetings with one another.
Christmas is a festival of brotherhood and to share happiness.
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