A season of togetherness

Christmas day

A season of togetherness

It’s the season of togetherness, warmth and love. Touched by the infectious bonhomie, even strangers wish each other ‘Merry Christmas’, not to speak of people generously exchanging goodies and gifting their loved ones during Christmas.

Most churches across the City have been decorated, complete with a crib, lights and the Christmas tree. There was a midnight mass in all the churches, while prominent churches, such as Infant Jesus Shrine, St Mary’s Basilica, Francis Xavier Cathedral, St Mark’s Cathedral and Trinity Church, have two or three masses on Christmas Day.

Fr P Arockia Doss, rector of Infant Jesus Shrine, says on Christmas Day, the church is packed with not only Christians but non-Christians as well. “We expect more than one and a half lakh people on Christmas day and what is heartening is that a large number of them are non-Christians. They come to view the crib. This is the feast for all mankind, irrespective of caste, creed and religion,” he says. Fr Peter of St Mary’s Basilica says that special arrangements have been made to control the crowd and space has been created to accommodate more than two lakh people. “We see people of all faiths come in on Christmas day. What is important is the spirit within as this is the season when good triumphs over evil,” he reasons. 

For most people, the day begins with a visit to the church and distributing home-made sweets and cakes to their family and friends. A lavish meal is laid out for lunch and dinner. The preparations for Christmas day begin a day in advance. The spirit remains, only the mode of celebration differs from one community to another. Benny Vickers, an Anglo-Indian, is a resident of Kuwait and this year he has come down to Bangalore for Christmas. “We’ve always spent our Christmas in Kuwait and we never get to see a Christmas tree there. So, this year, we are here with our parents, brothers and sisters. In addition to plenty of food, we party non-stop,” Benny says. Queeni Rodricks lives alone in the City but she makes in a point to hop into almost all her relatives’ places on Christmas day. “The tree and crib are always put up in the first week of December. We bake the traditional plum cake which is distributed among friends. It’s a time with family,” she says. 

Melanie, a Mangalorean, says that food is the biggest thing during Christmas. “Sanna and pork is a combination that is most popular during Christmas. I usually bake a date and walnut cake and all the food is paired with home-made wine,” she observes. 

 Non-Christians too partake of the feast. Ever year, Barnali Dey, a teacher with Manipal Global Education, gets invited to her friend’s home for a Christmas feast. “I decorate a Christmas tree for my niece and the cake is usually bought. I have a large circle of Christian friends and I get to gorge on some delicious food.” 

Parveen Jasawala and Mahruk Writer are close family friends and they confess that they have always had friends, who are Christians. Parveen says, “I usually bake a cake and take it to my friends when I visit them during Christmas.” Mahruk sums up, “We always make it a point to go to church on Christmas day. It’s been a tradition, although we aren’t Christians.”      

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