Srinagar, December 25
The Christmas, birthday of Jesus Christ, was today celebrated across Kashmir valley with religious fervour and gaiety.
Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah have greeted people on the occasion. The celebrations began with midnight mass prayers in Churches in summer capital, Srinagar and other parts of the valley, including world famous ski resort of Gulmarg. Undeterred by below freezing temperature, devotees, including women and children, joined the prayers in churches which were decorated on the occasion. The main Christmas function was held at Moulana Azad road, Sonawar and Baramulla, where devotees joined mass midnight prayers. People belonging to different faiths greeted their Christian brethren on the occasion. In a message, the Governor said over the past centuries, the teachings of Jesus Christ, the apostle of peace, compassion and brotherhood, have guided human beings on the path of righteousness.
He observed that ”the message of Jesus Christ is perhaps more relevant today than ever before, when the world is faced with increasing hatred, intolerance and violence.”
The Governor expressed sincere hope that the celebration of this joyous occasion would strengthen the bonds of communal harmony, brotherhood, amity, secularism and the pluralistic traditions for which Jammu and Kashmir was known in the centuries gone by. The Governor wished the people a bright and merry Christmas and prayed for peace, progress and prosperity in the State. Meanwhile, the Chief Minister, in her message, hoped the occasion to be an omen of communal harmony, love for humanity and compassion. “Such occasions remind us to rekindle the spirit of harmony, brotherhood and lead a virtuous life,” Ms Mehbooba said in her message. Mr Abdullah, who is also the working president of main opposition National Conference (NC), took to micro-blogging site twitter to greet people on Christmas.