Staff Reporter

BERHAMPUR: Cultural events along with the traditional rituals marked the Christmas celebration in the city on Friday.

Festivities were in full swing at all major churches of the city after the special midnight prayers. At all the churches in the city Christmas masses were held in Oriya as well as English. In the Telugu Baptist Church premises the mass was held in Telugu. At all churches including the Oriya Baptist church of the city there was social exhibition of artefacts related to Christmas prepared by the devotees. This church had been established in the city way back in 1838.

On Friday the children of an orphanage named DMC home at Khalasi street of the city organised a special cultural show based on the life of Jesus Christ.

This orphanage houses destitute children from adjoining Kandhamal and Gajapati districts.

Festivities were also in full swing at 169-year-old St. Stephens Church, Queen’s Mission Cathedral, and Telugu Baptist Church. With colourful decoration all churches had a festive look. Spiritual music and festive feasts were part of the celebration.

The members of the youth choir of the St. Stephens’ Church continued with the tradition of their special spiritual music during the Christmas festivities.

After the midnight mass they travelled to different households throughout the city in a musical procession which can be compared with the ‘Nadia Kirtan’ of Hindus. They were singing lyrics in praise of Lord Jesus. But the tunes were mostly like the Indian Bhajans.

These special bhajans were accompanied by rhythmic beats of mridang, cymbals and manjira. This unique musical tradition is decades old.