Kerala celebrates Christmas with pomp, enthusiasm, christmas day

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala’s Christian community celebrated Christmas with traditional fervor, pomp and enthusiasm on Sunday with a number of bishops and senior priests, including the plight of Vizhinjam fishermen, the buffer zone and sectarian activities in the state, during the midnight mass.

The festive spirit began with midnight mass held in churches across the state, where bishops and priests delivered the Christmas message to their congregations.

While Cardinal Mar Baselios Cleemis led the midnight mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral of the Syro Malankara Catholic Church in the state capital, Cardinal Mar George Alanchery of the Syro Malabar Catholic Church conducted the service in Kochi.

In his Christmas message, Alanchery said that if people gave in to sectarianism and distanced themselves from each other, “it would only hurt them”.

“We must all be united and in harmony,” he said.

He also highlighted the plight of the fishermen, who were still living in godowns, despite the Vizhnjam protests, among others, demanding rehabilitation.

“Even this year they will celebrate Christmas in those godowns,” said Alanchery.

The Archbishop of the Latin Catholic Archdiocese of Thiruvananthapuram, Thomas J Netto, in his Christmas message also mentioned the plight of the fishermen who protested against the sea port being built at Vizhinjam.

“We should remember those living in godowns in the name of development,” he said.

The issue of the existing buffer zone and the concerns of the people, especially those living in the state’s forested and vast areas, were highlighted by Bishop Remigiose Inchananiyil of Kozhikode district’s Thamarassery Diocese during the Christmas service.

“People live in fear of being kicked out of their homes,” he said.

Meanwhile, the festivities began early in the morning for the Christians, with the preparations for the festivities beginning in the small hours of the morning.

People decorated their houses with bright and colorful lights and a Christmas tree to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and went to church in the morning.

As the COVID-19 pandemic subsided to a large extent, devotees attended the church without any restrictions unlike the previous two years. PTI

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