By Wilfred Pilo
KUCHING, Dec 2: Archbishop of Kuching Archdiocese Simon Poh led a congregation service of more than 5,000 participants from various churches in the city at the Kuching City Christmas Parade 2023 at Jubilee Ground this evening.
In his opening citations, Poh said the parade is to spread the words of Christ that are of peace and love, which is synonymous with the theme for this year, ‘A Heartwarming Christmas’.
“It is about Christmas that happens in our heart; it is about the joy, peace, mercy, the way we receive the kindness, and the goodwill that we want to pass on to the people around us.”
Earlier, when met by reporters at the venue, Poh spoke of the same messages, that Christmas is also about celebrating together and that he wanted everybody to celebrate this festive occasion by doing something for Sarawak.
“All races and faiths come to celebrate Christmas together and have open houses to invite friends, build friendships and harmony, and let Sarawak be the model for Malaysia”.
Unit For Other Religions (Unifor) director Datuk Jack Aman applauded the Association Churches of Sarawak (ACS) and the Sarawak Evangelical Christian Association (SECA) for the programme.
“Such a gathering brings more unity for Sarawakians to build a better nation,” he said.
Kuching City South Council (MBKS) Dato Wee Hong Seng described every celebration and gathering of festivals at Jubilee Ground as a ‘Mini Sarawak”.
“Such gatherings are not just about the festive occasion but also show visitors how we live in harmony, tolerance, and religious acceptance in all types of diversity.
“I am at the venue under MBKS to give moral support to see the beautiful people on these festive occasions and as in our tag line ‘no one is left behind'”, he said.
After the praise and worship, the crowds were mesmerised by Christmas carols before the 4-kilometre street parade began from Jubilee Ground to Jalan Padungan, Lebuh Temple, Lebuh Wayang Jalan Tabuan, Jalan Ban Hock, and back to Jubliee Ground led by six Boys and Girls Brigade musical bands and 15 Christmas floats.
This was followed by participants dressed in costumes depicting biblical characters such as Joseph, Mary, angels, shepherds and the Wise Men from the East that symbolised people visiting newborn Jesus Christ during the first day of Christmas, giving away Christmas gifts, and street music performers.
ACS secretary-general Elder Ambrose Linang was also present. — DayakDaily