The port city is all set to celebrate Christmas, the festival for the birth of Jesus, with fervour and gaiety.
The markets in the city are adorned in sparkling lights, colourful stars and Christmas trees, all of which add grace and charm to the festivities.
The churches in Mangaluru are also set for their greatest festival of the year. Cribs on the premises of various churches as well houses give an illustration of the birth of Jesus Christ. In fact, no Christian household is complete without a decked up Christmas tree, a crib, Kuswar, and cakes of various sorts including plum cakes.
A visit to the markets in Mangaluru will give a view of shops with Christmas trees of all sizes – just to remind people that the festival has arrived.
The 52-year-old and still flourishing Jerosa Company is one of the oldest shops for such purchase of trees and cribs along with anything else to deck houses for the festival.
In contrast to other stores in the city, Jerosa Company brings out new varieties of decoration every Christmas. There are paper, poly marbles, wooden cribs, candy canes, garlands, stockings, snow globes, statues of angels, Mary, Joseph, Infant Jesus, sheep, grass and other decorations. Besides, they have six to 10 varieties of Christmas trees ranging from Rs 35 to Rs 18,000.
Purchasing a costly tree is quite unimaginable for people of the older generations. For them, purchase of a tree itself if unheard of.
“Every Christian household had a pine tree that was decorated for Christmas. Therefore, there was no question of buying one in those good old days,” says 78-year-old Winniefred Dorothy Rego, a resident of Bejai in Mangaluru.