Mangaluru, Dec 25: Christians across the Rome of the East, as this port city of Mangaluru is referred to, thronged the churches of their respective parishes Monday morning to offer special prayers as part of Christmas celebrations.
Bishop of Mangaluru Dr Aloysius Paul D'Souza was the main celebrant of the Christmas Mass at Rosario Cathedral. He briefed the gathering about the significance of the birth of Jesus Christ and wished everyone a happy Christmas.
Devotees attended a special Christmas Mass late on Sunday night in various churches across the city. The believers have also offered pious midnight services in their respective churches. Cultural programmes by the members of parishes also added spice to the Christmas celebration.
Milagres Church and St Sebastian Church, Bendoor witnessed a large number of believers coming together to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ who born in Bethlehem more than 2,000 years ago.
Churches around the city were decorated with lights and illuminations. Additional chairs were placed outside the Church so that devotees.
Cribs at all the churches in city including Cathedral (Rosario), Lady of Miracles (Milagres), St Sebastin's church (Bendoor), Holy Cross church (Kulshekar), Infant Jesus shrine (Bikarnakatta), St Joseph's Seminary (Jeppu), St Rita's church (Casia), Guardian Angel church (Angelore), St Lawrence (Bondel), Mother Theresa (Paldane), St Francis Xavier church (Bejai) and Our Lady of Immaculate Conception (Urwa) - seemed to be better than the other. A few churches had recreated Bethlehem - the birth place of Jesus Christ.
Meanwhile, many churches have organised sports activities and fun games for the parisheners as part of Christmas celebrations.
In fact, the city is wearing a festive look for the past few days. Be it making crib, decorating roofs with Christmas stars or making'kuswar' (the traditional sweets made during Christmas season which include nevryo, kideo, gulio, kokkisan, rice laddu, tukdi and of course cakes), every Catholic family was busy in one or the other way.
Mangaluru celebrates Christmas with gaiety