Kolkata: The city on Sunday celebrated Christmas by holding midnight masses and carols that continued through the day and evening with people from all walks of life and faiths thronging churches, parks, zoo and other places of recreation.
Midnight masses were attended by hundreds at St Paul’s Cathedral, St James Church and many other places of worship in different parts of the city which reminded one of the Raj era grandiose celebration of the Yuletide with Park Street serving as the pivot.
In independent India, Park Street is still reckoned as synonymous with unending partying and fun and frolic.
The street is beautifully illuminated as restaurants on either side of the road set up food stalls to serve delicacies to the rapturous throng.
The celebrations were inaugurated by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on December 16 at Allen Park on Park Street.
Carols, musical soirees and other functions are being organised there daily by the state Tourism department in association with business houses, hotels and restaurants situated on the street.
The celebrations on the fun street would continue till the New Year.
Tourists from other states as well as foreigners took part in the celebrations along with the city-goers, many of whom still love to call themselves Calcuttans instead of Kolkatans and are still in love with the Raj era.
Thousands of people descended on Park Street since evening yesterday and the footfall has been increasing every hour since then. The city police has kept Park Street out of bounds for vehicles from 4.00 pm this evening.
Thousands of people took their children to Alipore Zoo, St Paul’s Cathedral, Bandel Church in neighbouring Hooghly district, while many organised picnics with friends and family in places away from the city, preferably on the banks of River Hooghly, after having part-taken of the must-eat Christmas cake.