Mysuru city is ready to celebrate two important festivals -- Christmas and Vaikunta Ekadashi -- on December 25.
While Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, sharing sweets and arranging lunch and dinner for family, relatives and friends, Hindus will observe fasting on ‘Vaikunta Ekadashi’.
However, the festivities are likely to be dampened due to the restrictions imposed by the State government, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. As per the government’s directives, Christmas would be celebrated in a simple manner, with limited occupants in churches at a time. People visiting churches and temples are directed to strictly follow social distancing and wear masks. St Philomena’s Church, St Bartholomew’s Church, Wesley Cathedral, Hardwicke Church, Pushpashram Church, Infant Jesus Church in Mysuru have been decorated and special mass prayers arranged. People, who understand the current situation, have geared up to celebrate the festival amid the Covid-19 protocols. As the people of Mysuru have been celebrating all festivals in a simple manner due to Covid, Christians too has decided to scale down the celebrations, said Bishop of Mysuru K A William.
In his Christmas message, he said, “All should shed selfishness and pray for a Corona-free world. It is important to live in peace and harmony, during such a crisis. Churches will hold special prayers every hour on December 25 from 5 am to 9 pm. The government guidelines will be followed strictly.”
Vaikunta Ekadashi, also known as Mukkoti Ekadashi, is an important festival for Hindus. Vaishnavas observe day-long fasting and visit Vishnu temples. It is believed that ‘Vaikunta Dwaram’, the gate to the abode of Lord Vishnu, Vaikunta, is opened on this day and the devotees observing fast would attain salvation.
The temples erect special entrance on the day, symbolic to ‘Vaikunta Dwaram’. Most of the temples have made it mandatory for the devotees to follow social distancing. Lakshmi Venkataramanaswamy Temple at Vontikoppal has decided not to allow devotees into the temple, to check any spread of virus.