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Kerala Christians set for Easter

Kerala,Art/Culture/Books,Religion, Thu, 05 Apr 2012 IANS

Thiruvananthapuram, April 5 (IANS) With just two days left for Easter, Christians in the state are geared up for the celebrations.


The lent, involves a 50-day abstain from all non-vegetarian items including milk and curd, ends this Sunday with the Easter.



'I have not had a sip of beer or liquor and have abstained from non-vegetarian items and milk,' said 28-year-old IT professional K.J. Abraham.



A retired priest said there has been a considerable decrease in observing the traditional beliefs during the lent these days.



He said this was mostly due to lifestyle diseases people suffer from.



'Unlike the yesteryears, the general health of people is not that good as in the past. So the traditional fasting prayers do not happen. The same is true for even some priests,' said the priest.



Christians account for 23 percent of Kerala's 3.20 crore population, and mainly concentrated in the central districts.



Catholics are the dominant group, comprising 50 percent, followed by the Orthodox Church (2.5 million). Jacobites, Mar Thoma, Church of South India and Pentecostal churches make up the rest.



In many homes, celebrations have begun and people were busy stocking up meat and liquor.



'An Easter without a drink is something I can't imagine,' said Jacob Punnen, a farmer near Kochi, about 200 km from here.



'Wine making has been part of our family tradition for ages. The utensils and the mix have been passed on to me by my parents. We make half a doxen bottles of wine every Easter and tomorrow we will open them,' remarked rubber planter Thomas Abraham near Kanjirapally in Kottayam, about 160 km from here.



There is another reason to cheer for many. The rubber prices have shot upto Rs.190 a kg. In 2007 it was just Rs.90.



'Price of a kilo of beef has gone up to Rs.180, while chicken costs Rs.120 and so are vegetables. If not for the good rubber prices, Easter would have turned out to be a damp squib,' said Sally Mathew, a homemaker in Thiruvalla, about 120 km from here.


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