People in north Andhra celebrated Christmas on a low key on Tuesday. But many flocked to tourist sports in Visakhapatnam, Sun temple, and Baruva beach in Srikakulam. Being a long weekend, many came from Hyderabad, neighboring Chhattisgarh and Odisha. Traffic was jammed on the beach road in Visakhapatnam and at many other places.
Tour operators said the footfall was good in Araku Valley and Lambasinghi and expected to be more during the next two days. Tourism officials said around 5,500 people visited Borra Caves, Arkau Valley, and Ananthagiri. Severe cold conditions and fear of the old and new strain of the virus kept many people indoors on Thursday’s eve of Christman. Even the crowds were small for Christmas prayers in the churches on Friday.
Many churches restricted the people to a bare minimum and advised them to stay at home and celebrate the evening with family members and relatives. Additional pastor of Vizag most familiar Trinity Lutheran Church Nelson Wesley said they restricted the people to two persons for each bench and limited the over a number to less than 200 people.“We have sought the police help to control the crowd at midnight,” Mr. Wesley told Hello Vizag. Trinity Church, located in the heart of the Visakhapatnam city and near Jagadama Theatre, draws maximum crowds on Christmas and New Year eve.
He also said the chief pastor and other guests advised the people to maintain the Covid protocol to stay safe from the deadly virus. All the church heads have emphasized on the precautions to be taken against the virus in their sermons. Small churches did not organize the Christmas eve masses due to adverse weather conditions and not expecting many people. There were visitors during the day, but they stayed away in the evening prayers. Churches were decorated and illuminated like the previous years.
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