Gaiety, Yuletide spirit mark Christmas in Bengaluru

Bengaluru: Thousands of devout Christians on Monday celebrated Christmas with prayers and carols in churches across the city to mark the birth of Jesus Christ over 2,000 years ago.

Ringing in the festival with midnight mass and biblical hymns, churches across the city were festooned with Christmas trees, lanterns, stars and colourful lights.

Hundreds of homes, shopping malls and public buildings across the city were also decked up for the fest. People dressed as Santa Claus were seen distributing gifts and sweets to children at churches and malls.

Archbishop of Bengaluru Bernard Moras held a midnight mass on Sunday, the night of Christmas Eve (the day before Christmas) which was attended by hundreds of people.

“The midnight mass was held with carols and prayers. The Archbishop had later given out his Christmas message that the festival is not just about decorating but about reaching out to the poor and spreading peace and joy,” Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Bengaluru Anthony Swamy told IANS here.

There was also a special mass held by the Archbishop on Saturday evening which was attended by the state ministers and officials, he said.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday greeted the people of the state, wishing them a Christmas filled with peace and harmony.

“Wishing everyone a happy, joyous and merry Christmas, filled with love, peace and harmony,” he tweeted.

Bengaluru is home to an estimated 500,000 Christians out of its total population of 10 million.