Christmas celebrated with religious fervour in Kerala


Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 25 (UNI) Christmas, which marks the birth of Lord Jesus Christ in Bethlehem, was celebrated with joy and religious fervour by the faithful in Kerala on Saturday.

Believers thronged churches, where senior bishops and priests performed special mass and gave out Christmas messages.

In view of Covid pandemic, Carol groups of churches and art clubs were advised to restrict visiting houses to sing traditional Christmas songs.

However, houses were specially decked up and business establishments offered special festive season discounts and freebies during the occasion.

Almost every Christian household decorated the courtyards with a crib -- Pulkoodu -- made of dry grass, in which the images of Infant Jesus and pretty looking dolls representing angels, shepards and lambs were kept.

Churches were decked up with cribs depicting the birth-in-the manger scene and stars twinkling on Christmas trees.

Christian households also made it a day for family get togethers. They feasted on different varieties of Kerala delicacies with their kith and kin, and family friends.

Cardinal Mar Baselios Cleemis led the midnight mass at St Mary's Cathedral of Syro Malankara Catholic Church at Pattam in Thiruvananthapuram.

Archbishop Soosa Pakiyam led prayers at the St Joseph's Metropolitan Cathedral at Palayam here.

Syro Malabar Catholic Church Major Archbishop Cardinal George Alenchery led the service at St Mary's Basilica in Ernakulam.

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan greeted the people on the joyous occasion of Christmas.

In a message, he said “My heartiest greetings and best wishes to the people of the Ssate and other Keralites all over the world, on the joyous occasion of Christmas, which celebrates the birth of Lord Jesus Christ."

"With the noble message of ‘Peace on Earth’, Christmas reaffirms our faith in the lofty values of love, compassion and forgiveness, which Lord Jesus taught the world."

"May our celebration of Christmas enrich our lives with empathy and generosity and strengthen our social harmony," Mr Khan added.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also greeted Keralites all over the world on the joyous occasion of Christmas.

Urging the people to take utmost care in view of Covid pandemic, the Chief Minister said "May the celebration of Christmas enrich our lives with prosperity, equality, brotherhood and love."