Fireworks Raise Christmas Enthusiasm in Antakya
A Christmas celebration took place in the central district of Hatay, St. Paul and St. Peter’s Orthodox Church in Antioch. The Christian residents of the city, living the joy of Christmas, prayed for the new year to bring peace to the whole world and lit candles.
A solemn Christmas ceremony took place at the Orthodox Church of Antioch. The ritual was led by the parish priests Rev. Jan Delüller and Rev. Dimitri Doğum.
Father Doğum wished Christmas and New Year to bring peace and tranquility to the whole world. He said “We ask Lord that the New Year to bring peace, love and brotherhood to the whole world, especially in our city, in our province, in our country and all over the world. We wish to have many happy holidays together.”
Father Delüller said that Christmas and New Year’s Eve are not related to each other. He added: “Christmas is celebrated all over the world today. Christmas is actually an innovation; it is the way that an old person becomes a new person. Sometimes people confuse Christmas with New Year’s Eve. I want to say that Christmas has nothing to do with New Year’s Eve. Christmas is our Feast of Nativity and we celebrate a birth. The New Year is a universal celebration. Therefore, we celebrate Christmas and the New Year both. We wish peace, brotherhood, love and friendship to all mankind.”
After the ceremony held in the church, the congregation enjoyed the fireworks show and Christmas gifts were distributed.
Fadi Hurigil, the President of the Antioch Orthodox Church Foundation said: “Today we welcome and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. On this happy day our church was quite crowded. Faithful came to visit our church not only from Antioch but from all over the country. I wish that this Christmas Day and the upcoming New Year will bring blessings to our country, the world and the whole humanity.”
The Christians of Antioch continued to live the enthusiasm of Christmas with the dinner held in Antakya City Club on 25th December. (SAT-7 Türk / İlyas Edip TERBİYELİ-İskenderun)