Shillong, Dec 25 (UNI) At the stroke of midnight, church bells rang and Christians across Meghalaya celebrated Christmas with religious fervour and enthusiasm.
Midnight mass was held at several big and small churches across the state, including the Mary Help of Christian Cathedral and Church of North India.
Today, prayer services were also conducted in all the churches to mark the occasion.
Shillong Archdiocese Archbishop Dominic Jala led the Congregation in a Christmas mass midnight vigil at the Mary Help of Christian Cathedral here.
The appealed to the people to uphold the ideals of universal love and brotherhood.
All the churches, missionary schools and institutions were also decorated with colourful buntings and lights.
The bedecked city of Shillong resembled a fairyland with spectacular lighting and festoons with red lights atop the houses to symbolise the descent of Lord Jesus to the Earth.
Christmas trees and wreaths adorned almost every household.
Youngsters, clad in new clothes went around the city singing carols, celebrating Christmas with great enthusiasm.
People from different religious backgrounds also took part in the celebrations and exchanged greetings.
The Central Puja Committee, an apex organization of the all Hindus groups in the state, celebrated the festival with orphans and inmates of Shanti Bhawan Old Age Home run by the congregation of Missionaries of Charity.
Chief Minister D D Lapang attended Christmas service at Presbyterian Church. Former Lok Sabha Speaker P A Sangma also attended mass at St Mary's Church in Tura.
Acting Governor S S Sidhu also wished the people on the Christmas and the eve of New Year.
Other political leaders, including non-Christians, were seen exchanging good wishes on account of Christmas.