Kolkata Celebrates Christmas in High Spirits

Kolkata, Dec 25 (IANS) Thousands of Christians took part in midnight mass, revellers hit the streets and there were large queues at the zoo and other tourist spots as Kolkata celebrated Christmas Friday.

With winter finally setting in, thousands of city dwellers - young and old - enjoyed a sunny morning as they revelled in the festive spirit.

The old churches in Kolkata like St. Paul's Church, St. John's Church, and Armenian Church were all decked up as the devout sang Christmas carols and prayed. Along with Christians, many non-Christians also visited the churches.

"I pay a visit to the church every Christmas day. This is the habit I developed from my school time as I studied in a Christian missionary school," Soma Nag, a schoolteacher said.

The cosmopolitan upmarket areas like Park Street and New Market (Sir Stuart Saunders Hogg's market established in 1903) seemed the most happening place with all restaurants, pubs and eateries doing brisk business.

Areas with considerable number of Anglo-Indian population like Bow Barracks, Sudder Street and Ripon Street were also decorated with huge Christmas trees, stars and streamers.

Baking cakes at good bakeries is another tradition among the Christians over here. "We gather all the ingredients at home and then go to a good bakery on Christmas morning to bake it," Rosy Gomes told IANS.

There were huge crowds at the city's landmark confectionaries like Nahoums, while people from the outskirts and the districts also trooped into the city to have their share of fun.

Spots like the zoo, the planetarium, and museums were flooded with people.

"I come to visit the city every year on Dec 25. This year I have come with my entire family," Mousumi De, a mother of two small kids, said in front of the zoo.




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Title: Kolkata Celebrates Christmas in High Spirits

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