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Decked-up churches offer feast for the eyes

- Colourful welcome for birthday boy

Churches in Ranchi are glowing with colourful fairy lights, streamers, stars and the like for Christmas Eve followed by the big day.

Last-minute hectic preparations were visible at all churches — GEL Church, St Mary’s Cathedral, St Paul’s Cathedral, Christ Church and others — getting ready for special prayers on Monday and midnight mass.

“We are erecting a pandal outside church to accommodate the faithful who can’t find room inside the building. LCD screens are also being put up so that they can watch the proceedings,” said an official of GEL Church on Main Road.

In most churches, midnight mass will start around 10.30pm on Monday, but some like Christ Church near GEL Church Complex, will start holding services from afternoon.

Churches have also set up big mangers with statues of Mary and newborn Jesus.

Makeshift shops for Xmas trees, Star of Bethlehem and tinsels as well as carol CDs have sprung up along walls of St Paul’s and St Mary’s cathedrals.

Confectioners on Main Road have showcased a festive platter of cakes and pastries. But many have not forgotten tribal Xmas delicacies such as the arsa, a fried cake made of rice powder and molasses. “We prepare arsa at home every year,” said reveller Naveen Toppo, buying rice powder at Doranda on Sunday morning.