New Delhi: Christmas is being celebrated with religious zeal and enthusiasm throughout the country Wednesday.
President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President M. Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh have greeted the nation on this auspicious occasion.
President Mukherjee in his message said: "As the world celebrates Christmas this year, may the higher purpose which Jesus Christ held out before mankind prevail. And may the Star that shone over Bethlehem sparkle once again and beckon us onto the path of peace on earth and goodwill amongst men."
"Let us recall on this auspicious day the teachings of love and kindness of Jesus Christ who for centuries has been an inspiration to mankind. May the Almighty shower his bounteous blessings on all the people of the world on this festive occasion," he added.
The Vice President in his message called upon citizens to celebrate this happy occasion by dedicating ourselves to Christ`s eternal message of love, compassion and forgiveness for all.
"I extend my greetings and best wishes to all our citizens on the joyous occasion of Christmas, commemorating the birth of Lord Jesus Christ. Let us celebrate this happy occasion by dedicating ourselves to Christ`s eternal message of love, compassion and forgiveness for all," he said.
The Prime Minister in his message said that Christmas is a celebration of Jesus Christ`s teachings of selflessness, tolerance and brotherhood. It is an occasion to strengthen the bonds of love and friendship amongst us.
"May the spirit of Christmas encourage people to think about those less fortunate," he added.
Streets of the national capital are decorated, while shops are all wrapped in Christmas colours to attract the customers.
From clothes to accessories and from wines to gifts, Christmas has given the locals a reason to shop.
Christmas is an annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus and is celebrated by millions of people around the world.