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Prayers, cakes mark Xmas

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 25: Both Christians and non-Christians draped themselves with mirth and harmony and assembled at the various churches in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack to celebrate Christmas today.

The Christmas eve midnight mass on Monday saw multitudes of devotees coming and praying to the Lord. On Tuesday, devotees and revellers made rounds of the churches decorated with cribs of baby Jesus and sculptures of Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph.

“The occasion is special because Jesus took birth on Earth to teach us compassion, honesty, kindness and the power of faith in good,” said father Santosh Diggal of the Satya Nagar church here.

Visitors kept pouring in throughout the day, greeting friends and well-wishers and lighting candles with prayers.

“My friends and I come here every year during the festival to sense the bliss of goodness that Jesus preached,” said Sushmita Sharma, an undergraduate student in Bhubaneswar.

“The music of carols is so merry, it gives you peace at heart,” said Johnson George, a member of the Christian community in Cuttack.

Houses were also decorated for the occasion with stars and strings of colourful lights. Christmas trees adorned miniature gift boxes, candies, bells and stars. Gifts and cakes were exchanged with relatives and friends.

“We bake a cake at home, but with so many lovely options available in the market these days, we buy a number of plum cakes and Yule logs to gift our visitors and guests. But Christmas is not only about merry-making, it also reminds us of the teachings of Jesus to help those in need. So, we also took part in charity organised at various centres in the city,” said Priydarshini Das, a devout.

The scene was no different in Rourkela and Berhampur where religious and cultural programmes were lined up for the entire day. Both Baptist and Catholic churches were decorated and hosted musical prayers and choirs. All districts celebrated Christmas in the true spirit with peace and harmony.