Solemn rejoicing marks Christmas

Bangalore Dec. 25. Christmas was celebrated in the City with the spirit of goodwill for all and joy in the birth of Christ. While New Year's Eve has become grossly commercialised over the years and is associated with unseemly behaviour in public places, Christmas has largely remained an occasion for solemn rejoicing.

There were large congregations for midnight services on Tuesday at churches of different denominations across the City and on Wednesday morning. Carol singers made sure that those who stayed home were reminded of the occasion.

For the past many days, shops selling Christmas trees, decorations for them, and the traditional "star" lit in front of homes, have been doing brisk business.

Bakeries and confectionary shops specialising in cakes, puddings, chocolates, and sweets have been crowded. With most of the young sending greetings online, the greeting card shops have lesser sales but hope to cash in on the New Year business.

Departmental stores and clothing shops in the central business district and the suburbs are patronised by Christians during the festival. Over the years, "ethnic" or "fusion" garments have become fashionable while the Kannada and Tamil speaking sections of the community purchase dresses, which everybody else wears.

For most, it was an occasion for extended families to get together and feast and with guests from other communities to share the season's specialities. And to greet those living in other cities and overseas.