Mangalore: The Coastal tract filled with Roman Catholics in Goa and Karnataka, especially, Mangalore, is in a frenzy in view of an annual Christmas celebration that invariably leads to a New Year with Tree decorations, cakes to eat and Kuswar to be presented. Every Christmas home is decorated, some in colourful lights and the tall Xmas Tree in a pyramid shape with little lights on, signifying Jesus’ birth in a manger in Bethlehem 20 Centuries ago. A lot of shopping has become a ritual for the great feast and musical events. There will be new dresses, home – made and Bakery cakes, bells and stars, new shaped lights with a message to hang on the roadside or in a hall.
Cakes could be in different shapes and stunning forms, imitating a Vidhan Soudha or a Town hall, even an Eiffel Tower or a Railway Engine (as in Nilgiris).
The city was known as the Rome of the East. Catholic religion, songs and culture are deep rooted here with holy messages and music in tow.
Thousands of religious people make it a point to attend gospels and masses in the Milagres, Rosario and Infant Jesus Churches. They attend masses in decorated churches tonight in cold weather to hear Christmas messages, Carols and attend meetings of near and dear ones in a neighbourhood. Various parishioners wait for devotees and pilgrims to take part in the midnight masses all over Mangalore (and Bangalore) or as in old Goa.
The spirit of Christmas is silent, full of joy, comfortable soft talk and wonderful décor in churches, homes and halls in the city. Children wait for or meet Santa Claus coming on Scooters, carrying gifts and Christmas greetings to young and old alike. It is an atmosphere of joy, expectations and relief that Christmas bestows.
Good Day, Merry Christmas and a happy prosperous New Year (2011) to all devotees of child Christ!