The event, organised by the Catholic Archdiocese of Thrissur in association with its citizenry, was flagged of by former president APJ Abdul Kalam on Friday evening.

The "Buon Natale" (Merry Christmas in Italian) pageant went around the heart of the city and was watched by huge crowds.

"The laity from 230 churches under our diocese took active part in the event to make it a grand success," a church spokesperson told IANS.

The event was led by Archbishop Andrews Thazhath and Bishop Raphael Thattill and included 5,000 Santa Clauses with luminant batons, 2,000 angels and 25 floats depicting various socio-cultural events.

The highlight was three Santas on three elephants besides three kings, seated on three camels coming from the East to pay obeisance to the infant Jesus.

There were also 10 bands playing Xmas music, a mobile crib and a dragon 100 feet long and 15 feet high.


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