Worshippers in Douala yesterday, December 25, 2012 joined Christians the world over to celebrate the birth of their Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Douala city dwellers effectively and actively participated in worldwide celebrations marking Christmas; the day Christians believe the saviour of mankind, Jesus Christ, was born. Commemorated once every year, this period is generally marked by festive activities before, during and after the day proper.
Prior to December 25, 2012, over 2,000 children aged between three and six from nursery schools in the Douala II municipality converged at the Youth Multipurpose Centre on Thursday December 20 for the traditional Christmas tree lighting exercise. The initiative prone by the Mayor, Denise Fampou and which saw its fifth consecutive edition this year, aimed at distributing gifts to little children. Such was the atmosphere that reigned in most schools, offices and communities, where people expressed their love for one another through charity works. Another case was at the New Bell Central Prison where an ecumenical service held on December 24 with over 300 attendants. Also, 30 inmates saw their Christmas wishes concretised, as they gained their freedom thanks to the intervention of a Non- Governmental Organisation.
Despite the religious background of Christmas, circular activities register a rush hour at this time more than other periods of the year. Going through the streets of the economic capital on Monday December 24, CT gained insight on how people spent the day. Most neighbourhoods went effervescent as clocks struck midnight. At night, most crossroads had been turned into day with decorative lights, bulbs, balloons and other accessories by the City and communal councils, alongside individuals. This gave way for celebrants to drink, sing and dance as a means of rejoicing for the end of year. The epicentres of nocturnal activities were around Deido, Akwa, Bali and New Bell neighbourhoods.
Another group of celebrants spent the evening in church till past midnight, to fully witness the transition into Christmas. The climax of merry-making in most homes was characterised by receiving the holy sacraments of baptism and communion, to immortalise their union with the new born king.