Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Agencies - Today Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus around the world. People are celebrating Christmas in ways both spiritual and secular. Here's a look at some of the ways the holiday is being marked around the globe. Thousands of Christians from the over the world packed Manger Square in Bethlehem Monday to celebrate the birth of Jesus in the ancient West Bank town where he was born. For their Palestinian hosts, this holiday season was an especially joyous one, with the hardships of the Israeli occupation that so often clouded previous Christmas Eve celebrations eased by the United Nations' recent recognition of an independent state of Palestine. 
Festivities led up to the Midnight Mass at St. Catherine's Church, next to the Church of the Nativity, built over the grotto where tradition says Jesus was born. Hundreds of people greeted Twal in Manger Square, outside the Church of Nativity, with children dressed in holiday finery or in Santa costumes, and marching bands playing in the streets. 

In the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI lit a Christmas peace candle set on the windowsill of his private studio. Pilgrims, tourists and Romans gathered below in St. Peter's Square for the inauguration Monday evening of a Nativity scene and cheered when the flame was lit. Later, the pope led Christmas Eve Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, prayed that Israelis and Palestinians live in peace and freedom, and asked the faithful to pray for strife-torn Syria as well as Lebanon and Iraq. In Iraq, Christians gathered for services with tight security, including at Baghdad's Our Lady of Salvation church. 
Winners of Spain's cherished Christmas lottery celebrated Saturday in more than a dozen locations where lucky tickets were sold, a moment of uplift for a country enduring another brutal year of economic hardship. It is an annual tradition in Thailand - elephants dressed as Santa Claus on parade, handing out toys to school children. In Mexico, Santa takes a human form, going for a swim with the fishes, delighting children at a zoo or the streets.

Christmas is being celebrated around the world, with Christians exchanging gifts and greetings to mark the traditional date of the birth of Jesus Christ. Wherever Christians live around the world, the routines of daily life are coming to a stop as people pause to celebrate Christmas, sometimes in unique ways. While thousands of pilgrims are gathered in Manger Square in the Palestinian town of Bethlehem, the town where Jesus is said to have been born, others go to pray at various ceremonies and Christmas church services in their local churches. However, many people around the world enjoy the celebration just shopping, going to family reunions or wearing Santa Claus costumes, eating, drinking and sharing gifts.

Jesus is a consciousness of God. Of pure delivery to the Lord. Therefore he is a master to these days,  because he has delivered something eternal. ... Thus, remembering Jesus, we also remember all the genuine gurus who have illuminated us on our way, as all form a same family dedicated to bring us to God. ... Let’s hope that on the day of Jesus, more than one soul remember him and not give most attention to the ridiculous Father Christmas. It is a great sadness to see how this day, which should be so sacred for the Christians, has become more and more profane each year. Who will give a present to Jesus? Who will sing to him on his altar? Just a few people are doing it! But we shouldn’t be surprised; this is the effect of Kali yuga. Well the devotees of Krishna, they certainly do celebrate and sing your glories in your divine and wonderful eternal and progressive immortality. Jay, Merry Christmas!

Śrīla Atulananda Ācārya :
“Jesus and His Message of Universal Love”
“Merry Christmas in Krishna Consciousness”
Santiago, Chile - 22 Dec 2005

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"

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