Festive fervor grips Northeast as people come together to celebrate Christmas

Imphal, Dec 27 : The northeast soaked itself in the festive spirit as people came together to celebrate Christmas with enthusiasm and gaiety.

People from different faiths visited churches to offer prayers on the festival that sends out a message of love and brotherhood.

Everybody wished for peace and prosperity in the region.

"I give the message of peace and love towards men especially to the citizens, the brother and sisters of Manipur that Jesus, the prince of peace was born on our land. With his birth, may there be peace, tranquility, prosperity in our land," said Reverend Simon, Pastor, Manipur Baptist Church.

In Tripura also, people from all religions came together to celebrate the festival with enthusiasm.

Hundreds gathered at the Santir Rani church in Agartala to take part in the annual Christmas Eve midnight mass.

Markets were crowded with people of all age groups buying gifts and cakes for their loved ones. Carol singing, dances, and other forms of merrymaking marked the occasion.

"We all enjoy together. It is not of any caste, religion or creed. Everyone likes to enjoy this. This festival is especially of love, sharing love and gifts. Everybody really enjoys. You can go anywhere. Whether they are Hindu, Christian or Muslim, everybody enjoys," said Sharmila Chakraborty, a local.

"We have Muslim, Christian and Hindu friends. So we try to celebrate every festival be it Christmas, Eid or Durga Puja. With that definitely unity and strength will increase," added Niladri Saha, another local.

The atmosphere was bright and cheerful in Nagaland where people wholeheartedly took part in the celebrations. Bonfires, stars, balloons and colorful lights were seen in every nook and corner.

In Assam also churches were adorned with bright colorful decorations.

The same zeal and enthusiasm was seen in Shillong where people defied the bandh called by militants and came out in large numbers to take part in the festivities.

The atmosphere had a lively look as people thronged the markets to buy gifts and cakes.

Hymns echoed in the churches and streets as people sang carols and participated in merry making. Santa Claus added to the spirit of the festival.

"We should remain happy as well as we should be peaceful," said Emmy Mawrein, a local.

The gradual return of normalcy has made it possible for people in the Northeast to celebrate festivals without any fear. Such occasions bring people across religions and communities together, thereby promoting a sense of unity and brotherhood.

--ANI (Posted on 27-12-2013)

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