Christmas celebration in the city reached a feverish pitch with the 1000-odd churches in the city bracing up their congregations for the Christmas worship services which would start on the midnight of December 24 and conclude with the major worship services on December 25, the birthday of Lord Jesus Christ.
One of the major attractions of Christmas celebration is the white-washing and decoration of houses symbolic of heralding a new era in their lives. As the evening dawns and darkness deepens in the cold winter nights, the multiple stars dotting the rooftop of houses in the city resemble the Milky Way with colourful stars making their presence felt and bringing new hope in their lives.
The star has a special significance in the Holy Scriptures. When the Holy Child was born, a star emerges in the heavens suddenly to signify the birth of a Saviour who is Christ the Lord. The star appears to three astronomers from the Eastern Countries who knowing its significance study the scriptures of the day only to find that a Saviour from the celestial world was born and finally they zero on to Jesus. They bring gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Mirth and worship the saviour after finding him. The famous classic hymn reflects the mood of wise men who sang “ We three Kings of Orient are, bearing gifts we travel so far, Prayer and Praising, all men raising worshipping God most High. Oh! Oh Star of wonder, Star of Night, Star with Royal Beauty Bright, Westward leading still proceeding, Guide us to thy perfect Light”. The celestial star acted as a guide to what the scriptures call as wise men from the east. The stars, illuminated with lights, on the horizon were traditionally used to remind the followers of Christ that they are called to be the light of the world.
The churches are busy holding three Christmas shows organised separately by the youth group, women’s group and the elders governing body of churches.
K.E.Ratna Prabha, a college lecturer says that Christmas celebration and the organising of events provide the community an opportunity to interact, socialize and also to show the love of God to the poor and the have-nots by sharing of gifts with the lesser privileged sections.
Another attractive feature of the ‘Church Shows’ was the enacting of ‘Christmas Pageant’. Children and youngsters take pride in enacting the historical event.
Helen Selena, a local missionary says that for her Christmas is a festival of joy as the truth that Jesus was born to die for mankind’s redemption was a real life experience to her.
Churches are full of decorations, Christmas trees, illumination, love feasts and poor feeding and distribution of gifts and clothing etc. Church services on Christmas day will be the most colourful with men and women and young boys and girls in their new attires adding glitter and glamour to the universal celebration. Christmas celebrations however will continue until December 31 extending the Christmas season.
Keywords: Christmas celebrations