Christmas, marking the historic birth of Jesus Christ was celebrated with gaiety and religious fervour in the Central Travancore district of Pathanamthitta on Saturday.
Special services were held at various churches in this part of the State on the Christmas’ eve.
Believers took part in the midnight mass as well as holy eucharist early in the morning hours at various churches in different parts of the district.
Almost every Christian household in this part of the State have decorated their courtyards with a crib, `Pulkoodu' as they call it, made of dry grass, in which the images of Infant Jesus and cute dolls representing angels, shepherds, lambs, etc, are kept, besides an illuminated Christmas Tree.
The holy mass as part of Holy Christmas began at St John’s Cathedral in Thiruvalla at 9 pm on Friday.
Fr Abraham Mulamoottil, principal of Mar Athanasios College For Advanced Studies Thiruvalla (Macfast), was the chief celebrant.
Hundreds of faithfuls attended the midnight mass followed by the ritualistic `fire-warming’ held as part of the service, later, around 12 midnight.
Prayers were rented aloud, making the atmosphere surcharged with devotion. A statue of Infant Jesus was ceremoniously taken out in a procession. Priests and the faithful proceeded to the specially prepared fireplace in front of the Cathedral in devout veneration, symbolising the warming of the `baby’ immediately after the birth of Jesus.
Christian households have celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ, making it a day for an annual family get together. They feast upon different types of traditional Kerala delicacies, along with their close relatives and family friends.
Churches have jointly organised Christmas rallies at Kunnamthanam, Kumbazha, Omalloor on Saturday afternoon.
Joint Christmas rally will be held at Adoor on Sunday.
Metropolitan Archbishop, Thomas Mar Coorilos, Auxilairy Bishop of Thiruvalla Archdiocese, Philipose Mar Stephanos, Metropolitan of Niranom diocese of Malankara Orthodox Church, Yuhanon Mar Chrysostomos, Dr Joseph Mar Thoma, Metropolitan of Mar Thoma Church, Dr Philipose Mar Chrysostum, senior Metropolitan of Mar Thoma Church, Geevarghese Mar Coorilos, Metropolitan of the Niranom diocese of Jacobite Syrian Church, Bishop K.P.Yohannan of Believers’ Church, Swami Golokananda and Swami Samagrananda of Sri Ramakrishna Ashram in Thiruvalla, N.S.Prabhakaran Pillai, NSS director board member and Akeeramon Kalidasa Bhattathiri, Yogakshema Sabha president, were among those who have showered their Christmas greetings on the society as a whole on Sunday.