Sand art Santa Claus, cribs and carols, and a message from the pope about the plight of refugees – here are glimpses of Christmas celebrations from across the world.
“No one should feel there is no room for them on this earth,” Pope Francis said, as he highlighted the plight of refugees and migrants all over the world in his Christmas Eve Mass speech at the Vatican.
In India, the run up to the festival was peppered with controversies with right-wing Hindu groups targeting celebrations. The Madhya Pradesh police detained a group of Catholic seminarians and priests on December 15 as they were out singing carols in Satna, while the Hindu Jagran Manch warned education institutes in the Uttar Pradesh district of Aligarh not to celebrate the festival. In Kerala’s cyclone-affected fishing villages, the celebrations were muted.
Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik on Monday said he had set a new world record by creating the biggest sand art of Santa Claus.
Mumbaikars flocked to Mount Mary Church in suburban Bandra for the midnight mass. In Worli area of the city, a 65-feet tall pine tree was tagged as India’s tallest fully decorated Christmas tree.