Home News Inter-religious Christmas celebration held in India

Inter-religious Christmas celebration held in India

The Society of Pilar hosted its annual inter-religious celebration of Christmas, ‘Sadbhav Christmas,’ at the Pilar Pilgrim Centre in Pilar in the Indian state of Goa. 

The event, held on December 16, brought together people from various faith communities to celebrate the spirit of Christmas. 

Dr. Sneha Gitte IAS, Collector and District Magistrate of North Goa, acknowledged the event’s role in fostering communal harmony, encouraging everyone to work together towards this noble cause.

“Christmas has a very special place in my heart. I am so glad to be a part of Sadbhav Christmas, which celebrates Christmas in its true spirit – the spirit of joy, love, peace, and promoting goodwill,” said Gitte.

The festivities commenced with a devotional dance by Bhagyashree Chari, a young classical dancer specializing in Kathak. The dance, set to the hymn ‘Vachan Tumhare,’ immersed the audience in a divine experience, setting the tone for the celebration.

Rev. Fr. Lawrence Fernandes, the Director of the Pilar Pilgrim Centre, extended a warm welcome, highlighting the profound emotions that Christmas evokes, such as peace, brotherhood, and the revelation of God’s purpose in coming into the world.

Daniel Dias, a harpist from Mumbai, showcased his skills by rendering four Christmas carols on the harp. 

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The Pilar Music School from Margao, directed by Fr. Myron Sequeira, added to the festive atmosphere with their performances of ‘I Believe’ and ‘Gloria in Excelsis Deo’ in English and Konkani.

“Christmas is a celebration of the Divine becoming human and living amidst us and within us,” said Fr. Steevan D’Souza, the Vicar General of the Society of Pilar.

He drew parallels with the Indian greeting ‘Namaskar,’ emphasizing that respecting and honoring each other encapsulates the true message of Christmas.

The cultural richness of Sadbhav Christmas was heightened by the Divli folk dance performed by the Mosamkar Kulaswamini Kala Sangh from Anjunem Morlem Colony, Sattari Goa. Their performance, accompanied by resonant lyrics, added cultural depth to the celebration.

The Pioneer Readers Club and Socio-Cultural Centre, representing Sonshi, presented a Qawwali titled ‘Shanti ka doot,’ echoing the theme of peace.

Nazrana Banu Shaikh, Assistant Professor at Carmel College, Nuvem, spoke on behalf of all communities, sharing insightful thoughts on the theme of peace. Quoting Jesus’ words, she emphasized that peace goes beyond the absence of conflict, representing a state of harmony and righteousness.

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