Partial view of Kohima town lighted up with decorative Christmas lights at night. (Morung Photo)
Morung Express News
Dimapur | December 25
Christmas, the most awaited occasion for the people of the state marking the birth of Jesus Christ, was celebrated across Nagaland on December 25 with spirit togetherness, joyfulness and with religious fervour.
While the festive spirit of Christmas in the state started with the onset of December, with many celebrating the first day of the month as ‘Advent Christmas,’ it reached a crescendo on Christmas Eve, December 24.
The spirit of togetherness was perceptible as people share gifts and greets and visits one another. In most places, on Monday evening, people make bonfires as they sing, dance and celebrate waiting for Christmas. Music and Christmas carols blared out from many houses and vehicles as people celebrated with joy and gaiety.
For many, it was also a solemn occasion for prayers and renewal as they attend midnight masses, hold vigil and wait for the ‘birth’ of Christ.
Buildings and establishments across the state have been decorated and lit up giving warm festive looks. In most churches, the formal Christmas programme kicked off on December 24.
On December 25, the occasion is marked with religious fervour as people thronged the churches since early morning to celebrate the day. Churches across Nagaland saw full attendance Tuesday as the faithful make it a point not to miss the services on Christmas. The celebration continued throughout the day.
Many took to social media to share their celebrations with family, friends and loved ones.
While the day passed off without much incident, people also complained about heavy bursting of fire-crackers, especially in commercial capital Dimapur, which saw huge ‘bombing’ throughout the night despite the Supreme Court existing directive and regular advisory from Nagaland Pollution Control Board.
A dispute arising out of the burial of a Bible in Wokha made the district administration to ban entry into Assemblies of God (AG) Church in Wokha Church Colony citing law and order issues, IANS news agency reported,
“Officials said that this might be the first time that a church in Nagaland, where Christians account for more than 90 per cent of the population, has been shut down for maintaining law and order in more than 140 years,” it added.
Earlier, extending their heartiest Christmas greetings and best wishes, the Governor of Nagaland, PB Acharya and his wife Kavita Acharya urged, “The people to let the spirit of love gently fill the hearts and homes and uphold Christian values so that the Prince of Peace can live in us and rule Nagaland.”
“Even as we enter the New Year let 2019 bring changes for the better in the life of every person and every family and let us with renewed confidence and pride march towards building a developed, economically strong and a prosperous Nagaland and a strong prosperous India,” Acharya added in his message.
The State Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio took to Twitter to share his greetings with the people. “May the message of #Christmas which is love, peace, joy, forgiveness and redemption foster bonds of love and friendship with one another,” Rio tweeted.
The Leader of Opposition Nagaland Legislative Assembly TR Zeliang also extended his greetings stating, “Christmas is a reminder of the great love the Lord has for all of us” and wished “all the citizens of Nagaland a blessed and meaningful Christmas.”