Tourism Deptt organises Christmas Eve celebrations

Secretary Tourism, Sarmad Hafeez handing over a memento to the participant.
Secretary Tourism, Sarmad Hafeez handing over a memento to the participant.

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, Dec 24: The Directorate of Tourism, Kashmir organised Christmas Eve Celebrations at Institute of Hotel Management, Raj Bagh which witnessed creative bakers from different parts of the valley showing their talent and skill with their colourful Christmas themed cakes.
The cake baking competition which started on December 23 concluded today with 8 participants reaching the final round. The participants of the final round were awarded a cash prize of 20000 each and momentos.
Secretary Tourism Sarmad Hafeez, Director Tourism Kashmir G N Itoo and others graced the occasion.
In this connection, the premises of the IHM was decorated with Merry Christmas themed buntings, flags, balloons and various kinds of banners giving a festive look on the occasion.
Secretary Tourism while speaking on the occasion said that it is a great tradition by the Tourism Department to start Christmas Eve celebrations and extended his greetings and wishes to the people and prayed for peace, progress and prosperity of Jammu and Kashmir.
Meanwhile, the Tourism Department has planned to have grand functions in Gulmarg, Pahalgam as well as in Srinagar on the eve of Christmas and New Year while it began with the start of winter carnival today at ski-resort Gulmarg.
Sarmad Hafeez said that local Christians, as well as other tourists, participated in the Christmas mass and that tourists reaching Kashmir are enjoying the white Christmas which Gulmarg is experiencing.
He said that the winter destinations in Kashmir will remain open this year and that for the first time, Sonmarg will remain also open for the winter festivities.
Director Tourism said that the Department organizes such events every year in Kashmir, however, this year, the said some grand functions have been planned to be held at all the tourist resorts in Kashmir.
“We organize functions on the eve of Christmas every year, but this year we will be organizing grand functions which will go on for a week from today to 31st December,” he said.
He said that on December 24 and 25, grand functions will be organized at Gulmarg Pahalgam and Srinagar “and on 31st December some national level celebrities will reach Kashmir to perform on the eve of New Year at Gulmarg and Pahalgam,” he said.
Itoo said that the idea this year is to entertain the tourists who are currently here in Kashmir to celebrate New Year as well as Christmas including those who are on their way to Kashmir to enjoy their holidays with us.
Rajveer one of the tourist from Punjab said her friend has come from Canada to celebrate Christmas in Gulmarg and that the people reaching here are visible very happy to be here on the eve of Christmas and New Year.