Prayers herald Christmas in Meghalaya

Midnight services in churches across the state heralded the advent of Jesus Christ as tourists and locals joined in the festivities with religious fervour, mixed with merriment.

Last Updated: Dec 25, 2010, 18:56 PM IST

Shillong: Midnight services in churches
across the state heralded the advent of Jesus Christ as
tourists and locals joined in the festivities with religious
fervour, mixed with merriment.

The capital city of Shillong decked up for Christmas
and the forthcoming New Year celebrations as government and
private buildings as well as street corners were illuminated
and decorated with Christmas trees, banners and festoons.

Special programmes including traditional Christmas
carols and colourful processions have rendered the air festive
and solemn.

Tourists flocked to this hill state to participate in
the Christmas celebrations as well as to take a taste of the
winter season.

Individual artistes and gospel bands enthralled crowds
with traditional Christmas songs like `Jingle Bells`, `Oh Holy
Night` and `Santa Claus Is Coming to Town`.

Hectic last minute shopping and nightlong concerts
marked the Christmas Eve. Commercial hubs of the city like
Police Bazar and Iewduh (Barabazar), one of the biggest
markets in the North East, were crowded with people buying
clothes, foodstuff and other Christmas items.

Long queues were seen in front of prominent bakeries
in the city selling `designer` cakes.

Known for attractive illumination during Christmas and
New Year, the Garo Hills too is agog with festivity.

Arch Bishop Dominic Jala said, "This is a festival
which allows people to come together as it marks the coming of
Christ into this world.

Christmas symbolises peace and prosperity among
mankind and people should work for the benefit and welfare of
humanity".

Meghalaya Governor R S Mooshahary wished people a
joyful and Merry Christmas and hoped that the spirit and
warmth of Christmas will bestow enduring peace and joy in the
life of every individual, every family and the whole
community.

Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, on behalf of his cabinet
colleagues, also wished people a very happy Christmas.

"May the Good Lord shower the people of the state with
abundant blessings of peace and joy," Sangma said in a
message.

PTI