Kottayam says 'Buon Natale' for the third time as Christmas sets in; thousands of 'Santas' participate

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A glimpse from the Buon Natale event held in Kottayam on Tuesday. Photo: Onmanorama

Dashing through Kottayam, more than a thousand young Santas took part in the third edition of the Buon Natale event held in the heart of the town, announcing the arrival of Christmas. The event, flagged off by District Police Chief K Karthik IPS, started with a mass dance session at the Police Parade ground, followed by a procession to the Thirunakkara ground on Tuesday evening. The Italian phrase 'Buon Natale' means 'Merry Christmas' and various cities in Kerala have been organising the event named thus for the past few years, helmed by various Christian organisations. 

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This was the third edition of Bon Natale in Kottayam. Photo: Onmanorama

"I have been taking part in Buon Natale for the past three years and I feel the participation is getting better and livelier with each year," said Anu Jose, a law student who was at the event. "This year, the fun started even before the procession with so many youngsters dancing together to hit movie songs and Christmas-themed music. Kottayam being a place where such avenues are a rarity, events like Buon Natale are much appreciated," she said.

According to photographer Jimmy Kamballur, the event has the potential to attract more participation and better organisation. "Lots of shutterbugs and videographers captured the event enthusiastically, thanks to its colourful vibe. The programme will be on par with the Thrissur version if more colour and style-coordinated outfits are introduced and the event is promoted actively. Be it shopkeepers, travellers or those on a stroll, the event managed to entertain all those who caught a glimpse of the procession," said Jimmy. 

The Buon Natale events in Kerala started in 2013 in Thrissur and entered the Guinness Book of World Records in 2014 as the programme with the most number of people dressed as Santas. Around 18,000 Santas were part of the record-winner procession.

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College students from across Kottayam took part in Bon Natale 2023. Photo: Onmanorama
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