Christmas Amid COVID-19, Christmas Tree, Shanta Claws Give A New Look To Business Places

By Yalu Joshi

Kathmandu, Dec. 24: Christmas fervor has caught many restaurants, star hotels, automobile showrooms, clubs, and shopping malls in the capital city as they have decorated their business areas with Christmas trees in colourful lights and Shanta claws.

Though the businesses remained completely shut down for eight months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, traders are now all set to welcome Christmas with the hope that brighter business days are ahead.

‘After spending eight months at home now it’s time to make some fun’ singer Astha Raut said, ‘I request all to celebrate Christmas by following health guidelines. We should respect all religions and I wish Corona Virus pandemic would end very soon’.

Singer Raut, who has been celebrating Christmas since school time said it’s an international festival. This time she is going to sing Christmas songs at various hotels, she added.

With secularism, all religious people have begun to celebrate their own religion-related festivals.

New Road based Archies Gift shop owner Ganesh Regmi shared that the festive season is an opportunity to make a profit in business. ‘Gifts and clothes of Shanta Claws were the most selling materials during the previous festive seasons but this year business has decreased as the schools are still shut down.’

But Bhat-Bhateni Super Market was full of crowds where people were taking photographs in front of the Christmas tree. Usha Karki, a staff at Bhat-Bhateni Super Market said that Christmas trees attract people who visit supermarkets for shopping. She added, hundreds of people take photographs and feel entertained.

Regarding the increasing attraction over Christmas Rastriya Christian Mandali’s Prem Khadka said, ‘Though some youths were celebrating this festival as a fashion earlier, Christian people began to come out openly only after the constitution officially declared the country a secular state.’

Places like Thamel, Durbar Marga among others are ready to welcome the youths who come to celebrate Christmas.

Restaurants’ gates of the Thamel area have been decorated with Christmas trees with twinkling lights. Not only targeting foreigners, but most of all local soaps have also decorated Christmas trees to lure the domestic tourists.

Nir Lalit Piya of Forever cafe at Thamel said, ‘Celebrating Christmas has become a culture for Nepali youths. Amid an unexpected setback caused by Coronavirus in the business sector we are expecting to get some relief from Christmas.’

Even though there are no foreign tourists, Cafe is operating by following health guidelines in the belief that domestic tourists will visit it, he added.

The Rising Nepal

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