Goans celebrate Christmas with traditional fervour
With the peel of the midnight bells, churches across Goa celebrated the birth of Lord Jesus heralding the Christmas season which will culminate with New Year festivities.
Lakhs of faithfuls attended the midnight masses which were held across the state celebrating birth of Jesus Christ, followed by traditional dances at various places.
Goa has 27% of its population following Roman Catholic faith. Cribs were unveiled at many places after midnight masses, depicting the birth of Jesus Christ in the stable.
Archbishop of Goa and Daman Fr Filipe Neri Ferrao’s Christmas eve message was broadcast across the state through cable network on television in which he emphasised for the nations to take unified action against environmental degradation and irresponsible development.
“This Christmas let us make room for God to change us and through us change the world around us. Cutting across man-made barriers, let us commit ourselves to build a new society wherein everyone would be welcomed, accepted and loved,” the Archbishop said in the traditional message.
The Archbishop’s Palace, located at Altinho in Panaji city, would be hosting a civic reception on December 28 which is expected to be attended by several prominent personalities, including Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Governor Mridula Sinha and Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar, a spokesman for the church said today.
While locals are busy celebrating Christmas, more tourists are expected to arrive in the state to usher in the New Year. “We expect good response for the New Year season this year. The visitors have already started arriving. This is the time when everyone wants to be in Goa and they are right in deciding Goa as their New Year celebration destination,” state Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar.
He ruled out any impact of demonetization on the tourist inflow.
“There was slight impact initially, but now things are normal,” he said.