A Silent Night for Christmas in Goa; Merry-making to be mellowed this year amid covid outbreak

Goa Archbishop has issued a circular to local parishes, urging them to have low-key Christmas celebrations

The glitter and pomp of Goa's Christmas may not shine as bright as usual in the backdrop of the volatile COVID-19 pandemic as the state Archbishop urges local churches to hold low-key celebrations during the festive season. This decision will have a direct impact on the tourism activity in the state, which floats at its trough during the Yuletide season.


COVID-19 in Goa calls for a low-key festival season

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Nearly 26% of Goa's population is catholic, however, the starry night will cast a different glow this year as the state, the nation and the world fights an infectious virus on the frontline. The State's Chief Bishop has issued a circular which states that Goa's celebration will have a subtle glory with regards to the coronavirus spread. "This time because of the covid pandemic, these events are going to have a different shape, a different flavour", Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao added.

"This year, however, such a celebration will not be possible, due to the unprecedented situation in which we all are because of the pandemic. In fact, the situation calls to do things just the opposite way, by avoiding occasions for the physical convergence of many," the Bishop said in the circular, which has been issued to all parishes in the state. "Avoid too many lights and decorations; the money could, instead, be channelled towards the needy. Think of moving from external illumination to lighting the lives of people! Small sacrifices to be made in the family. Savings (in cash or kind) to be given to the poor and the underprivileged in the parish," the circular also stated.

Conventionally, traditional Christmas and New Year celebrations in Goa coincide with peak tourist traffic in the state and this decision, will have direct impact on that. Though no official notice or guideline has been issued yet for tourists who are preparing for a Goan Christmas celebration, the festivities will surely lack their usual folic this year.

Goa's total coronavirus tally has clocked beyond 46,344 cases, as it continues to host about 1,364 active cases in the state's medical facilities and covid care centres along with those who are quarantined under home isolation. So far, the state has reported 44,310 recoveries with 670 infection fatalities.

-With inputs from IANS

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