At the stroke of midnight on the 24th of December, church bells could be heard across the state. They were ringing out the joy and happiness at the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
The joyous celebrations began across the state with church services, most of which began at 11 pm, with the ringing of the church bells followed by crackers and fireworks.
Many churches in Goa held outdoor services, starting with Christmas carols followed by Eucharistic celebrations. In some of the churches, the services concluded with the distribution of cake and coffee.
Celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ
After the services at midnight, people from all over, dressed in their best to match the occasion, exchanged Christmas wishes. The celebrations continued late into the night with the organisation of parties and dances at prominent venues all over the state.
Cribs showing the scene of Jesus Christ’s birth in the manger, have been put up at Catholic homes, churches, chapels and different strategic locations. Homes and commercial establishments have also been tastefully decorated with brightly-lit stars, each one fancier than the previous one and an array of twinkling lights. A large number of Goans residing outside Goa have come down to the state to celebrate the festival with their families.
On Christmas morning, some families and friends visited each other to exchange gifts and partake in some pretty fabulous home cooked Christmas feasts and there was lots of merrymaking throughout the day. After that came the much-needed siesta to sleep off all that delicious food.
Christmas greetings from high profile people
In her message, Governor Mridula Sinha said that on Christmas we celebrate the joy of the Lord Jesus. “It is the story of the Son of God coming to be with us in the midst of our sin and sorrow, in order to bring us his salvation – the ultimate healing. Jesus Christ gave the world the lesson of love. He taught us that we all have the same source and are related to each other in some way or the other. He set an example of sacrifice and humanity and gave us an eternal message of peace, tolerance, compassion, love and brotherhood.”
The Governor further said, “As we thank God for sending his Son, let us pray for those who are suffering and let us also thank the Almighty for the return of Lord Jesus in glory. Christmas is about the light and the love of God being sent to us in the best way. Let us celebrate the festival as a member of one family with unity and enthusiasm irrespective of caste, creed and religion. I pray that as we all celebrate Christmas this season, we find the joy, hope and comfort that comes from the Lord’s presence and his teachings.”
The Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar had this to say, “May the auspicious festival of Christmas be a moment for hope and happiness as well as an opportunity to celebrate the spirit of sharing and brotherhood. I extend my warm greetings and wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.”
In his message, the Archbishop said that it’s Christmas again and the message it brings every year has not changed. The Feast of the Birth of Jesus Christ represents the victory of light over darkness, of joy over sadness, of hope over despair, of love over hatred and of peace over conflict. It returns every year to remind us that God has entered human history as a member of the human race in order to take it back to where it belongs: God, the eternal source of joy, of peace, of love.
So on that note, let’s all of us strive to overcome the hatred and discomfort we have had all year. Let’s pray for the poor souls in war-torn countries that do not know if they will live to see another year. For everyone that needs some compassion, love and hope in their lives.
Merry Christmas from us here at ItsGoa!
Information credit – TOI