12/19/2016, 15.05
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Sarawak: thousands of people, both Christians and non-Christians, take part in Christmas parades

In Kuching, 10,000 people join march organised by various Churches with Nativity scenes, traditional songs and dances enlivening the city’s streets. Participants handed out gifts to the members of the public. Some 45,000 take part in a similar parade in Miri.

Kuching (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Some 10,000 people took to the streets yesterday in Kuching (Sarawak) for the annual Christmas parade, which combines religious and traditional celebrations.

The crowd, which included people dressed as Mary, Joseph and Jesus, angels, Santa Claus etc., gathered in the southern part of the city.

After a moment of prayer and worship, participants from various Christian denominations began their march towards the city centre.

This is the 10th edition of Kuching’s Christmas parade. It was organised by the Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS), which includes Catholics, Anglicans, Methodists, Baptists, Seventh Day Adventists, the Salvation Army and other Christian denominations. This year’s theme was ‘God so loved the world’.

The parade saw people on foot, bicycle, motorbike and sleighs pulled by reindeers. People from local churches joined the main crowd.

The streets were decorated with lights, coloured ribbons and banners. Nativity scenes were placed at various points along the route.

Music filled the streets as thousands of people joined the choir and the six brass bands from the Boys Brigade and Girls Brigade.

Traditional carols were accompanied by shofar* players, as well as tribal drummers and dancers with tambourines. Parade participants handed out Christmas presents to members of the public who turned out to watch the event.

Meanwhile, in Miri (Sarawak, near the border with Brunei), some 45,000 people from 15 churches and members of the public thronged the Miri City Fan for their another Christmas parade.

In Sarawak, the tradition of Christmas parades began in the city of Sibu in the 1970s, and have been held on 12 December ever since.

The celebration is a symbol of unity for the whole state, uniting not only Christians from different denominations, but also people of every race and religion, sharing love and peace for one another.

* The shofar is ram's horn used as a musical instrument.

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