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Love and Light

Education Wing - National Christmas Celebration 2013: Festival of Love and Cheer

On December 15th I went to the prestigious Cheltenham Ladies College for the National Christmas Celebrations. The programme was a filled with festive cheer and love, as people arrived from all parts of the country to celebrate this auspicious event. I learned the significance of Christmas, how Christians celebrate the day, as well as joined in the carol singing.

The Nativity story performed by some of the SSE children was a real treat! The story was narrated so beautifully, retelling the birth of Christ as well as bringing out the teachings from the Christian faith.

I too got to take part in the procession at the beginning of the programme. As part of the procession, we placed a Christingle each by the photos of Swami and Jesus Christ. We also got to put strips of cloth on Baby Jesus’ manger whilst accompanying some of the younger children onto the stage. I liked this as it's all significant to Christmas. The significance of Christingles is that the world is represented by the orange, the light is represented by the candle on the orange, the four seasons by 4 cocktail sticks inserted in the orange, Jesus' blood is the red ribbon tied around the orange and the blessings we receive are the sweets that the cocktail sticks hold. It looked really pretty on the stage.

I personally liked the Vicar’s sermon where in she said that the strips of cloth being placed on Baby Jesus's manger reminded her of how the different colours of cloth represent the different faiths, weaved together to make a beautiful tapestry. She also mentioned the similarities of Sai Baba and Jesus's teachings. She said that even as young as 12 both Jesus and Sai Baba were spreading and teaching values such as truth, love and compassion. Baba had written the play ‘Cheppinattlu Chesthara’ and Jesus who was found preaching to the elders in a Synagogue.

The day concluded with Father Christmas handing out presents to all children, which brought out the biggest smiles! I am really looking forward to our Xmas celebrations in 2014!

Dhanisha Patel
SSE Student
Age 14
Region 7