Christmas cheer in city: Bazaars, special event for prisoners, and more

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IT’S TIME to deck the halls, bring out the cookies and celebrate the spirit of Christmas — more so during these testing times amid a pandemic. Across churches and clubs in Pune, several events have been organised to bring the much-needed cheer this festive season.

At St Patrick’s Cathedral, a Christmas bazaar will be held on December 18 and 19. Assistant parish priest Father William Anthony said the main aim is to promote the skills of the entrepreneurs through the exhibition and sale of Christmas sweets. Carols will be sung by the youth, children and nuns on the occasion.

Meanwhile, the Prison Ministry of India (Pune chapter) plans on spreading Christmas cheer among prisoners, and their families. Father Wilfred V Fernandes, coordinator, State and Central region, said that Christmas is a time for spreading joy and goodwill. “Some of our volunteers who are fully vaccinated will visit the remedial homes for boys and girls under 18 in the coming week, sing carols and celebrate the festive occasion,” he said.

Socialising safely by observing Covid-appropriate behaviour is the mantra and to hang on to the mood of the season, the Poona Goan Institute is organising a Christmas bazaar on December 21 and 22. Taking all precautions, the organisers are preparing for the much-awaited annual Christmas ball on December 25.

Apart from this, the Goan club is also organising a crib and card making competition for children while a Christmas tree party on December 23 will include residents of Mother Teresa’s home and Isha Prema Niketan.

“Our much-awaited event is the Christmas ball and the club is preparing to take all precautions with compulsory masks and vaccination certificates as a mandate for entry,” said Charmaine Lazarus, president of the over 100-year-old club.

Another Jingle Bells Christmas bazaar, a two-day event, has been organised on December 18 and 19. Noella Kambli, the founder of Ladybird events, said, “We have a wide range of Christmas items, including cakes, candles, cribs and other products at our stalls. What’s more, there are events like a dance competition and a kid’s fashion walk, apart from a lucky draw and other fun competitions at the Kedari ground, Wanowrie.”

The Indian Catholic Youth Movement – Poona Diocese is also organising a Christmas FAM JAM on December 19 with a carol singing competition and fancy-dress competition at Don Bosco School, Yeravada.

Bishop of Poona Rt Rev Thomas Dabre has appealed to everyone to celebrate Christmas responsibly. “Let us follow government regulations,” the bishop said in a letter issued to the Poona diocesan priests and others. In the letter, he said that all services in the church should be concluded by 11 pm. Multiple services can be conducted on Christmas eve (December 24) and on Christmas Day (December 25).

“Up to 50 per cent of the space in churches and 25 per cent capacity in open spaces is permitted,” the bishop said.

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