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Christmas feverish pitch in Meghalaya

Preparations will reach a climax with the jingling of bells and hymns at churches at midnight on December 24, when people in cosmopolitan hill stations sing "Joy to the world, Christ is born."

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Christmas feverish pitch in Meghalaya

Shillong: Like other parts of the world, preparations to celebrate Christmas have reached a feverish pitch here in Meghalaya’s capital, Shillong.

Preparations will reach a climax with the jingling of bells and hymns at churches at midnight on December 24, when people in cosmopolitan hill stations sing “Joy to the world, Christ is born.”

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In this picturesque hill station, the capital of the predominantly Christian state of Meghalaya, choir groups belt out carols in churches and public places. The sound of church bells fills the air. Churches and houses are already illuminated with lights.

Christmas trees, the most significant religious insignia, ranging from Rs 600 to Rs 25,000, would be displayed at churches. These trees will attract the children and youngsters of the Christian fraternity.

The preparations for the annual bam khana krismas (Christmas feast) on Boxing Day (December 26) have been finalised at their respective churches and Christian-run educational institutions.

“Christmas is the season of peace, and the yuletide spirit has already set in to celebrate Christmas and welcome the New Year,” Jovi Suchiang said.

Various Christian denominations have already drawn out their plans for the festival season.

“Our choir has been practising the traditional Christmas songs, as it has in the past. We are having special practise sessions,” Annie Lyngdoh said.

“Not only in the church, but this time we plan to visit all of our members’ homes and sing together,” she added.

With the yuletide spirit high, all roads in Shillong from across the state, especially in the Khasi and Jaintia hills, are leading towards Khyndai Lad (the Police Bazaar) and Iewduh for Christmas shopping.

To alleviate traffic congestion, the Meghalaya police have even issued strict orders to its traffic personnel to tow away vehicles parked in unauthorised zones at Khyndai Lad. From leading garment shops to cake shops and gift shops, people are seen thronging to get the best one for themselves and their loved ones.

“The flow of shoppers has increased, and we are open till very late. People buy gifts for friends and families as well as fashionable clothes,” said Nana Modrani, an owner of Uncle Shop, one of the oldest garment shops in Shillong.

Though inflation is soaring, consumers are making sure to get the best they can.

“Everything is so expensive, but I have to get something because this is the only season where I wanted to give special gifts to my parents.”Matthias Sohtun, who is busy looking for Christmas gift at gift shop,

However, Elias Kharkrang said, “It is the spirit of Christians to give the received gifts to others, but for me personally, Christmas is an occasion of re-union of the dear and near ones to share bliss and delight.”

“Jesus Christ completely identified himself with the poor, the deprived, and the needy, and the need of the time is to revive that spirit even today,” Elias said. 

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