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India decks up for Christmas

Christmas decorations on sale hang at a roadside stall in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad December 24, 2011. REUTERS/Amit Dave (INDIA - Tags: RELIGION)

Chennai/Guwahati/ Ranchi : People across India are singing carols, organising functions and plays to celebrate Christmas, which falls on Friday.

For instance, a shopping mall in Chennai came up with a “North Pole Mountain Village” theme’ to mark Christmas.

A four layered snowy mountain has been built depicting the mythical habitat of Santa Claus.

The village has miniatures of huts, a bridge, train, reindeer and Santa Claus covered in snow.

However, for some residents of Chennai, the Christmas spirit will be missing because they have been rendered homeless by the recent floods.

“We may not celebrate Christmas, but, I think there is a lot of hope that tomorrow will be better as it is said again and again. I think in the floods what has won in Chennai is humanity,” said south Indian actress, Suhasini Maniratnam.

In Ranchi, Jharkhand, Christmas-related dance and plays are being held in church. A local rock band also performed at a church.

Markets have been flooded with decorative items and statues of Jesus Christ and Mother Mary.

Guwahati in Assamis playing host to a Christmas carnival of rock band performances and fashion shows, said All Guwahati Christian Youth Association secretary Suresh Joseph.

In Tripura capital Agartala, markets had all the elements associated with Christmas, including decorations, gift items and cakes.

Some people dressed like Santa and stood outside the shops to welcome and wish customers.

The Christmas market is currently open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m each day in the state.

Markets and churches in Mumbai were glittering with Christmas-related decorations and items.

Christmas is celebrated across the world on December 25 and Christians form less than three percent of India’s more than one billion strong population.

Christmas is marked by carols, cakes, candles, fern trees and an exchange of gifts. (ANI)