Nagapattinam: Thousands of pilgrims from
several parts of the country and abroad thronged at the
Christian pilgrim town of Velankanni here on Sunday to celebrate
Special masses and prayers marked the festival.
On Christmas eve, when the clock struck 12 at night, priests
of the Church came in procession to announce the birth of
Jesus. Little children carried candles and the Holy Bible with
After offering prayers in English and Tamil, the Parish
Priest showed the idol of a infant Jesus marking the birth of
The church authorities had put up a huge pandal illuminated
with lamps in the premises of Shrine Basillica to accommodate
30,000 pilgrims at a time, church sources said.
Similarly, hundreds of devotees participated in the special
prayers at the New Jerusalem Church at Tarangambadi, built in
1718 and is the oldest Protestant church in Asia.
Besides, there is the famous Zion Church, built in 1701
which is an architectural marvel. There is also the majestic
Church of Our Lady of Rosary at Taranagambadi, which belongs
to the Roman Catholics.