“Our Lenten theme Ignite Hope, is a call to be…
KOTA KINABALU – The 12th Kota Kinabalu (Gaya) Christmas Celebration began on 13 Dec 2016 at the Padang Merdeka, with a programme designed to keep the people entertained. It will end Dec 16.
After 11 years sited at Lintasan Deasoka and Jalan Gaya, Padang Merdeka has the advantage of accommodating all events of the celebration in one venue, in full view of each other, more seating space available to the public, and more parking bays made available with the whole stretch of Jalan Gaya freed up for car parking. As such, this event is now re-named Kota Kinabalu Christmas Celebration.
In his speech, Rev Jerry Dusing, president of the Sabah Council of Churches, highlighted the theme of the four-day celebration.
Christmas, he said, is a time of joy and celebration…a season and time for sharing love and goodwill…Forgiveness and reconciliation are the order of the day for any bad or hurtful experiences encountered…a time to remember those in need and to reach out to them with love and compassion…
“It is with this background, our Gaya Christmas celebration this year adopted the theme, Peace and Mercy for all, which reminds all of us that God has sent His only Son Jesus Christ to bring the message of love and to show us how to love, ” Rev Dusing said.
He then stressed that only by God’s grace can one love unconditionally, “and when we can love one another, there will be greater peace amongst us, and we can show mercy and compassion to one another.”
In his turn, Tourism Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun, representing Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman, pointed out the inter-racial harmony among the peoples of Sabah.
Among the invited guests present was Marina B Lacker, Canadian High Commissioner to Brunei.
As in previous years, there are stage performances–carol singing, dances, drama–performed by various interdenominational churches, street carol singing by church groups at strategic places around the field; charity drives for selected charity bodies and welfare institutions; and goodie bags distributed to children 12 years and below during the four nights.
Two hundred hawker stalls have been set up, offering a variety of goods, such as home-cooked food and local delicacies, Christmas paraphernalia, clothing, toys, ice-cream, publications and others.
A photographer’s delight, the people have ample chances to “selfie” the beautiful decorations put up, the Nativity Hut with snow machine and the two big Christmas trees measuring 50 and 20 feet respectively.
The four-night event is organised jointly by the Sabah Council of Churches in partnership with Kota Kinabalu City Hall.