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Gaiety marks Christmas in Telugu states

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Gaitey, Christmas, telugu, telangana, Christmas wishes, Andhra Pradesh, carol singing,Hyderabad:  Pomp and gaiety marked Christmas celebrations across Telugu states Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on Sunday.Special prayers in churches since midnight, carol singing, and bursting of fire crackers were the highlights of celebrations in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad and other towns of Telangana and neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.

Christians in both the states celebrated the festival with religious fervour and gaiety with congregations and special prayers in churches since the early hour of the day.The festivities began with midnight mass at many churches in Secunderabad, which has a sizeable population of Christians.A major congregation was held at the 200-year-old St John’s Church in Secunderabad. Hundreds of Christians also attended the mass at St Mary’s Church, All Saint’s Church, Wesley Church, Holy Trinity Church and Millennium Methodist Church. The priests prayed for peace and highlighted the message of Jesus.

The Anglo-Indian community in Lalaguda in Secunderabad celebrated Christmas with enthusiasm and in a traditional manner. In Little England, as Lalaguda is known, the community celebrates the festival in their unique style.Cake and wine making at home is an integral part of the celebrations for the community.Attired in their best, men, women and children attended the midnight services in specially decorated churches. Prayers in some churches began early Sunday.Christian families cut the cakes as part of the celebrations and greeted one another on the occasion.

The three-day celebrations also began at the historic Church of South India (CSI) at Medak, about 100 km from here. Believers carried a decorated cross into the church and placed it before a specially-erected hut.Medak Church, the second biggest of its kind in Asia, was constructed between 1914 and 1924. It has been built with granite in the Gothic style with story of Bible painted on its stained glass windows.

The celebrations were also held at Khammam, Adilabad and other towns in Telangana. In Andhra Pradesh, the celebrations were held in Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Ongole, Kadapa, Bheemavaram and other towns.YSR Congress party chief Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy and his family members joined in the prayers at CSI church at Pulivendula town in Kadapa district.

Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, his Andhra Pradesh counterpart N. Chandrababu Naidu, Governor of the two states E.S.L. Narasimhan and leaders of various political parties greeted people on the occasion of Christmas.”The birthday of Lord Jesus, who taught us love and compassion, is celebrated worldwide with happiness and joy,” said Chandrasekhar Rao.”Christmas is a time of joyous remembrance of Jesus Christ. It is also an occasion to renew the bonds of love, tolerance and compassion which Jesus had taught the world,” Narasimhan said in a message.

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Manali gets more snow, Shimla awaits white covers

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Rainfall, Hailstorm, Snowfall, Winter, Spring, New Delhi, National capital Region, Noida, Greater Noida, Delhi and NCR, Regional news

Even as snow eluded Himachal Pradesh’s capital Shimla on Thursday, the picturesque tourist town of Manali experienced more snow, the season’s second this year. There will be no more rain or snow in the hills from Friday, officials said.

“Manali, and the hills overlooking it, experienced mild to moderate snow,” an official at the meteorological office here told IANS.

According to the Met office, Shimla recorded 15.9 mm rainfall. However, its nearby tourists resorts like Kufri had plentiful snow.

The Met said weather would remain dry after Thursday as western disturbances would recede from the region.

The picturesque Kothi, near Manali, recorded 60 cm snowfall, the highest in the state, while Kufri and Manali had recorded a fair amount of snow.

Shimla residents shivered as icy winds brought down the minimum temperature to 2.8 degrees Celsius. Shimla saw intermittent rain throughout the day.

Narkanda, some 65 km from Shimla, experienced snow, turning the hill station even more picturesque.

Tourists from the plains began to descend on Manali and Kufri.

Kalpa, about 250 km from the state capital, experienced 17 cm of snow. It recorded a low of minus 0.6 degrees.

“High-altitude areas of Lahaul and Spiti, Chamba, Mandi, Kullu, Kinnaur and Shimla districts have experienced moderate to heavy snow,” the official added.

Rains lashed towns in lower hills in Himachal such as Dharamsala, Palampur, Solan, Nahan, Bilaspur, Una, Hamirpur and Mandi, pushing down the mercury.

Kasol in Kullu district recorded 50 mm of rain, the highest in the state.

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