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On Christmas, Delhi feels one

Posted on Dec 25 2011 | IANS

New Delhi, Dec 25: Church bell chimes and midnight masses with special prayers heralded Christmas celebrations in the national capital Sunday.

Christian homes were decorated with Christmas trees and lights to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

"It is a festival of peace and harmony. People of all religions have come here today. They feel one with Jesus here," said Father Maria Susai at the Scared Heart Cathedral which was built in 1934.

"This place gives me a sense of peace. I am not Christian but every year, I celebrate Christmas with some friends. We go to church and have some sweets," 24-year-old Atul Sharma said.

The Christmas spirit could be felt all over the place. The church organised a day-long public mass and an open air theatre with a DJ playing songs.

Expatriates also gathered at the church to celebrate Christmas. Although Olivier Mensah from Togo in west Africa misses Christmas back home, he is in love with the unique mix of cultures in India.

"Christmas is always a big thing at home, lots of dance and merriment. But here, it's different. The churches are so grand and beautiful and so many people of different cultures have come together," Mensah, 27, told IANS.

While the mood of festivity prevailed on the Church premises, a different type of celebration could be seen outside the Church.

A group of youngsters in Santa caps, were carrying big sacks just like Santa Claus. The sacks were full of clothes, scarves and ear-muffs which they had decided to give to poor people.

The team's leader, Dheeraj Rana, 17 said, "We are volunteering with the church. These are gifts for the poor and the needy."

The youngsters' gifts were even more relevant as incidentally, this is the coldest Christmas in the capital in 5 years.

Other churches across the city held Christmas mass and prayers. Markets and shopping malls in the capital were flooded with Santa Clauses of all shapes and sizes. They also sold briskly at traffic junctions.

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