Seychelles: A Sparkling, Dazzling Victoria Dresses Up for the Festive Season

Victoria -- the capital city of Seychelles -- is alight, sparkling and dazzling as the island nation kicks off the festive season.

With Joy to the World resounding in the background, a ceremony was held on Tuesday where the Mayor of Victoria, David Andre, symbolically lit the biggest Christmas tree in the capital and officially launch the festivities.

The lighting ceremony, held at the central post office, was accompanied by Christmas carols by the National Choir, school children and the senior citizens to the delight of members of the public.

For the next month or so, the public will enjoy lights in different sizes, colours and, shapes. These include gifts, Santa Claus, angels, stars and even a gift laden sledge pulled by reindeers.

"This brings a special sentiment in all of us, and I hope these lights evoke the spirit of hope, love and, joy in the hearts of all Seychellois," said Andre, adding that this is the season for sharing and giving especially to those less fortunate.

"Let us open our hearts to those people in our community and let these lights shine in our daily lives and help us to walk on a path of love, peace and, sharing," said the Mayor.

Andre reminded everyone that Victoria is the capital city of all Seychellois and made an appeal to businesses, especially big ones, to join in the festive spirit and decorate their premises.

Kiaraa Ernesta, 14, said the capital city is looking beautiful. "My favourite is the Peace Park, with the angels, and the red and gold Christmas tree being, the most attractive in my eyes," exclaimed the teenager.

Moly Green, a member of the National Choir, said Christmas cheer is much needed in town.

"We see everyone is doing something on a small scale, for example, the shops but we need something bigger to really create the mood," said Green.

Victoria, located on the east of the main island of Mahe, is the business city of the island nation and is home to government offices, commercial services and many businesses.

In the past there were much more efforts to decorate the city also referred to as the smallest capital city of the world.

At one time there was even a competition for the best decorated building and a cash reward was offered.

The Mayor's Office had a budget of $73,000 to decorate the capital city of Seychelles -- 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.

"The Mayor's office has used their means to dress up Victoria, but why don't we join in, why can't families donate lights or even go the Mayor and ask if we can decorate a specific area or even a tree, this has to come for the community as well," said Jenita Laporte, who came to Victoria on Tuesday evening.

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