Guwahati: Unlike previous years, Christmas in Guwahati is set to be a low-key fashion this year due to the global pandemic. Although stocked up with decorative items, shops in markets across Guwahati have so far witnessed only half of the usual footfall.
“Footfall of customers will understandably be lower than the past few years. Movement in and through the neighbouring states is also still restricted due to COVID-19 protocols. So, customers from neighbouring states have also not been able to come here,” said Baby Kalita, owner of a retail outlet which deals in Christmas ornaments.
“The main mass will be conducted, but outsiders will not be allowed to be present this year. We will restrict the number at around hundred,” said Vincent Xalxo, Parish Priest, St. Joseph’s Church.
Similar protocols will also be followed at the Guwahati Baptist Church in Panbazar. However, the authorities here have decided to go online to avoid a large gathering while maintaining a secured environment for devotees.
“This year there will be no carol singing or community feast or any gathering of people. We are going beyond the protocol because we have lost one of our members due to COVID-19 and we have been praying that we get a vaccine very soon and the pandemic comes under control. As far as Christmas is concerned, all programs on Christmas Eve and Christmas will be held online,” informed Azizul Haque, Pastor, Guwahati Baptist Church.
However, for devotees, the pandemic and the related restrictions have failed to dampen their spirits, keeping in mind that the same festivity can be relished along with friends and family members while avoiding any public gathering.