The sun was out, so were the cakes and carols! Cutting across faiths, Delhi residents began a fabulous round of merrymaking on Friday, with roast chicken and apple pie lunches, visits to friends or simply cozying up with family. It was Christmas day.

Soulful melodies - a part of the midnight mass - in beautifully decorated churches welcomed the day. Wrapped up in woollens, many attended mass even as the minimum temperature dipped to the season’s lowest Thursday.

Ranjini John, a homemaker and mother of two, was one of the many who had queued up outside the Sacred Heart Cathedral.

“Christmas is a magical time of the year. Families come together and there’s cheer everywhere. You really forget the cold and the chill - the excitement is so much! My kids, who generally sleep early, were up late into the night and had a great time,” John said.

Bedecked with balloons, streamers and star-shaped lights, the scene of baby Jesus in the manger with Mary was recreated in a number of churches, including the Sacred Heart Cathedral, inviting exciting glances by all, especially the kids.

The morning after was equally exciting as the entire city was decked up for daylong celebrations. Elaborate lunches were prepared in homes, bringing together friends and family.

Ashika Sharma, a student, said, “My friend is a Catholic and Christmas is a grand affair. Every year I can’t wait to attend the elaborate lunch her family organises, so naturally this year is no different.”

“While there are new things on the table every year, there are a few regulars - like the roast chicken or turkey, minced meat pie, apple pie and fruit cake soaked in brandy,” Sharma said.

Market places around the city also wore a festive look, flaunting Christmas trees bedecked with tiny bells and streamers and shops overflowing with goodies.

At the well known Wengers pastry shop in Connaught Place in central Delhi, a staffer said it was next to impossible to find any cake on the shelves by evening.

“On Christmas, we run out of our stock of cakes and pastries by late afternoon. We are continuously packing and serving food!” the member said.

Die-hard fans made their way to the shop in time.

Rajiv Das, a self-proclaimed “Wengers fan”, said: “If it’s Christmas, the cake has to come from Wengers. They make some of the best fruit cakes and chocolate cakes.

“The demand is so high that there is a good chance the shelves will be empty by noon, so I was there early to get my share!”