ROURKELA: With few hours left for the special Church services and midnight mass to celebrate the birth of Lord Jesus churches across the tribal-dominated Sundargarh district are wearing a bright look.
The festive mood, which was building up for the past couple of days, picked pace with the arrival of migrant Christian population from fur-flung areas of country to celebrate the big day with their family members.
Community sources said, a sizeable number of poor tribal Christians who have migrated to various parts of the country return to families on a long vacation and return after New Year. A migrant worker Simon Toppo of Lathikata block said, he returned from his workplace Ranchi two days back and will spend a fortnight with family. Another migrant worker Poonam Xess, who works as domestic help at Delhi said, her poor parents and two siblings anxiously await her return and it gives her immense pleasure to get new clothes and gifts for them.
Sundargarh unit president of All India Christian Council Prof BijayToppo said, the district has about three lakh Catholic Christians linked to about 35 big parishes and about one lakh protestant Christians linked to above 25 large parishes spread across all 17 blocks of the district.
Sources said, the Catholic Diocese at Rourkela draws maximum crowd from Rourkela and neighbouring areas with above 40,000 followers participating in the holy mass on the intervening night of December 24 and 25.
Birmitrapur and Rajgangpur with sizeable a concentration of Christian population also celebrate the occasion in a large-scale along with Sundargarh town, Kesramal, Gaibira, Birkera, Nuagaon, Sikajor, Telendihi, Bonai and other rural pockets of the district.