Dining tables will stagger under the weight of lavish Christmas meals as families celebrate with chunks of turkey and wedges of plum cake over the yuletide weekend.
On Saturday evening, Marie Fernandes, was busy whipping up a Christmas cake to distribute among family and friends. “This year, we didn’t have time to make enough though,” said Fernandes, a college principal. On Sunday, she will attend the mass at Salvation Church, Dadar as she does each year. The family will later meet for a festive lunch.
At Savio D’Mello’s home in Mahim, similar celebrations will unfold. “It’s about being together with family and extended family and visiting relatives,” said D’Mello, who visits St Michael’s Church every year for mass.
At Matunga’s Don Bosco shrine, more than 5,000 people are expected to show up for the open-air mass. Devotees who visit the shrine say their prayers are always answered. Unlike most other places of worship in the city, the shrine will also hold an evening mass on Christmas day in addition to daytime services.
Bandra’s Mount Carmel Church drew visitors from the neighbourhood and other states alike. Human resource professional Yang Bhutia who has come all the way from Darjeeling with her family found the festival in the city dramatically different from what it is back home.
“The churches here are much younger than the ones in Darjeeling,” she said. Non-Christian families from the city are also lining up outside churches. “It’s a great way to educate children about other religions,” said Manish Sule, a businessman who visited some churches with his two children and wife.