Christmas markets in Guwahati face uncertain times


GUWAHATI: Amidst the unrest, and curfew being withdrawn from Guwahati, the countdown for New Year and Christmas has slowly started in some parts of the city. People and traders dealing in Christmas items are now getting ready to embrace the celebrations. 

Popular shopping stops such as Fancy Bazar, Silpukhuri, Ganeshguri, Zoo Tiniali etc. are doing their best to ensure maximum footfall. Special shops selling Santa Clause masks, Santa hats, small Santa figurines, Christmas trees, stars of different sizes, Santa costumes, etc have sprung up in these areas. Christmas trees are available in a range from ₹40 to ₹4000, while Santa Claus dolls are priced from ₹10 to ₹6000.

Though there’s a certain festive feel for traders dealing in Christmas goods, the recent violence and protests have resulted in low excitement level among the buyers.

“Due to the ongoing protest against Citizenship Amendment Act 2019, we are having a tough time selling our products. The footfall has been quite low compared to the previous years. We hope things will change in coming days,” said a shopkeeper from Silpukhuri.

“Yes, the market is slow at the moment. The demand for cakes is not like what we had received last year. Though there is a steady demand for the traditional plum cake, we still hope to attract more sales by producing some good, designer cakes with Christmas-specific icings,” said a bakery owner in Ganeshguri.

Though Christmas is celebrated mainly by the Christian community, the entire city joins in the revelry nevertheless. Pre-Christmas events like carol singing, cake festivals and cultural programmes and carnivals are being planned throughout Guwahati.