Braving the winter chill, the million-strong Christian community celebrated Christmas with traditional fervour, pomp and enthusiasm across Maharashtra on Thursday.
The festive spirit started with the Midnight Mass which was celebrated in hundreds of churches in Mumbai and other cities and towns of the state. It was accompanied by prayers and singing of carols.
Celebrations started in full swing with Christmas cakes and cookies, puddings and other special delicacies which were shared with neighbours and friends.
Christian homes in the city were illimunated with fairy lights and a welcoming Christmas Tree, including the country’s biggest naturally growing Pine Conifer at the home of Douglas Saldanha in Worli, now standing nearly 57-feet tall.
Schools, colleges and Christian institutions put up big and small thematic cribs to mark the occasion.
The main celebrations in Mumbai were held in Christian-dominated Colaba, Mazagaon, Marine Lines, Byculla, Bandra, Khar, Andheri, Kurla, Santacruz, Ghatkopar, Malad and Borivali.
Elsewhere in the state, large Christian pockets in Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri, Nashik, Pune and Nagpur also witnessed enthusiastic Christmas celebrations.
In Mumbai, most hotels, restaurants, malls and commercial plazas were bathed in Christmas decorations of beautifully lit Christmas trees, special Christmas menus and offers, Christmas balls and other activities which will continue till the New Year.