From the crowded streets dotted with embellished Christmas trees to the traditional celebrations in households, the Yuletide spirit soared across the state with both Christians and non-Christians taking part.

While denizens of Kolkata and those from the outskirts gathered at the iconic Park Street to soak in the festive spirit, enthusiastic urban travellers headed to rural Bengal to enjoy the holidays in solace.

Tourist hotspots like the zoo, Victoria Memorial and Indian Museum were abuzz with visitors as were the decorated churches that received thousands of guests throughout the day.

Amusements parks like Nicco Park and the Eco Park saw heavy footfall. At the stroke of midnight, St. Paul's Cathedral in Kolkata and churches across the state - festooned with lights, paper stars, streamers, Christmas trees and candles - drew huge crowds cutting across religious lines.

Daylong prayers were held in all the churches since midnight. Mother House - the global headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity founded by Mother Teresa - welcomed hundreds of visitors, who started pouring in since morning.

The city's famous heritage address - Bow Barracks, inhabited by Christians and Anglo-Indians - bustled with activity and the aroma of home-brewed wines and cakes.

Children and the elderly reveled in festivities, songs and dances. Belur Math, the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission also ushered in Christmas at midnight with prayers and carols as devotees gathered around a Christmas tree.

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