Hit by post-demonetization cash crunch, Christmas celebrations were a low-key affair in Bhopal with many families deciding to cut down on expenses while others deciding to celebrate the festival at home instead of going to party spots, shopping malls or city’s popular places.
As per event organizers, this year lesser number of Christmas parties and gatherings were arranged in Bhopal.
“There has been no compromise in celebrating the rituals but we have cut down on decorations and shopping this year,” said Gloria Singh, a city resident.
Most families enjoying the holiday season said they had no plans to attend Christmas parties or go to friends’ places. “Almost every year we went to our relatives’ place and hosted a Christmas party. But this year, demonetization has suppressed our festive spirit and we are trying to save money,” said Christina Michael a private sector employee.
However, the festival was celebrated with all pomp and gaiety at different churches in the city which were all decked up for the midnight mass. St Francis Church at Jehangirabad started witnessing the rush by the evening. This church had been decorated with lights and flowers and the area around it resembled a fair.
The visitors also gathered at St. Thomas Church , Maida Mill and St Mary’s Church to celebrate the birth of Jesus and offer midnight prayers at the mass. Groups presented Christmas choirs praising the Lord.
Even amidst limitations and problems due to note ban, Pastoral Church at Asha Niketan had planned the festivities like previous years. “We planned everything a long time back. As it is our biggest festival, so we will not compromise,” said father Maria Stephen, a priest at Pastoral Church, adding we always keep the celebrations simple so that it never becomes difficult to arrange.
This year city archbishop Leo Cornelio also led a Christmas rally on Friday. A large number of people from different religions, castes and creeds participated in that.