Bokaro: Residents celebrated Christmas with great fervor on Friday. However, unlike past years, there were no midnight prayers in the main Churches of Bokaro Township. In wake of Covid-19 situation, residents celebrated Christmas far from the usual glitter, crowds, pomp, the Santa Claus, and all the noise.
Father P.J James, principal of St Xavier School, said “an invisible virus has brought the world to its knees. He added that “in this spirit, the Christmas celebration of the Catholic-Christian community of Bokaro remained subdued. We dispensed with the usual vigil service at midnight. Instead, the church service was at 7:00 pm. At the conclusion of it people greeted each other. No boisterous singing and dancing. People dispersed quietly to their homes. Again many returned to St. Mary’s Church in Sector IV at 8:00 in the morning for more prayers”.
Another, Daniel Prasad of Pentecostal Assembly said “It was an unusual Christmas. There was no usual visiting each other’s houses singing carols or having the large Christmas lunch get-togethers. This year those who physically attended the Christmas services have maintained social distancing in churches – the children and elderly missed out on the social interaction”.
However the shops, restaurants, houses, hotels, streets are adorned with the colour papers, clay lamps, glowing stars, and colourful illuminations. The restaurants added a new distinctive menu for the customers while bakery shops did the brisk business of designer cakes.
Puneet and Amit Johar, owners of Ginger Restaurant, said “we have decorated Christmas tree and colorful illumination. However Santa Claus was missing this year. Toffees and surprise gifts was there for the kids”. The Bokaro Mall also decked with Christmas tree and jingle bells, said its owner Dharmender Jain.
Another Dipak Gupta, owner of Hans Regency said their restaurant has been decked and there were special dishes added to the menu for Christmas. The Zaika resort and hotel saw a good number of visitors with its proprietor Vikram Shanan, also added lip-smacking dishes to the menu for the day.
At their homes, residents were found taking selfies with the tall Christmas tree installed at the portico, which they posted on Facebook or sent to their friends and relatives. A large star found hanging in front of every home of those belonging to the Christian community in the town. Rose cookies, cul-cul, cakes, puddings, and various other items added full taste to the Christmas party.