The spirit of Christmas came alive in the stately Ashoka Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan here this past week when several choir groups came together with an assortment of carols.

The festive season was greeted with great fervour at the President’s official residence. An ornately decked Christmas tree, a Santa Claus and the scene of Lord Jesus’ birth were put up to mark the festivities.

Christmas celebrations and carol singing are an annual feature at Rashtrapati Bhavan, but this year there was a departure from the usual. Instead of school children who normally sing Christmas carols, there were choir groups from various churches that took over this year. Enthralling the audience led by President Pratibha Patil herself were choir groups from 6 Assam Regiment, the Methodist Church, St. Stephen’s Hospital and the Austrian choir group.

The spirited singing in various languages added colour to the festival of joy and happiness and the high-ceilinged hall resonated with music as these choir groups performed to a mesmerised audience.

Smriti Kak Ramachandran