Low-key Christmas celebrations in Mizoram due to COVID-19
PTI

Low-key Christmas celebrations in Mizoram due to COVID-19

This year the state government has banned all such practices to prevent further spread of coronavirus.

AIZAWL

For the first time since Christianity was introduced in the state of Mizoram in 1890s, the traditional way of celebrating Christmas has been shunned as low-key celebration marked the big event due to COVID-19 protocols in place across the state.

Traditionally, church service, carols, congregational gatherings called “Zaikhawm” in local parlance (singing Christmas songs and hymns in group) and community feast form an integral part of Christmas celebration in the Christians dominated Mizoram.

This year the state government has banned all such practices to prevent further spread of coronavirus.

As per the updated health bulletin, the tiny Northeastern state of Mizoram has reported 4178 coronavirus cases so far and a death toll of 8.

However, the yuletide or Christmas spirit did not die down in the heart of the Mizos despite subdued celebrations.

“COVID-19 on the other hand has resulted in a different and spiritual way of celebrating the birth of Jesus,” a retired pastor HK Sumkam told PTI.

On December 25, different churches organised online church service through TV and zoom applications.

In most places, celebrations were held in family circles.

A Young Mizo Association (YMA) leader said that the traditional way of giving alms and assistance to the poor on Christmas eve this year was perhaps greater than the past.

Many groups, NGOs and individuals reached out to the poor, orphanages and rehabs with alms to convey the message of peace and love to the people to mark the celebration, he said.

This time Mizoram witnessed the 150th Christmas being celebrated in its soil after it was first celebrated by the invading colonial British troops back in 1871 near the Manipur border. (PTI)

(Edited by Christopher Gatphoh)

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