Christmas cheer fills Seychelles, though COVID dampens the merry mood a bit

Christmas Eve in Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles, continues to be one of the busiest times of the year, though the constraints brought on by COVID-19 dampened the merry mood for some.
Many shops and other businesses have displayed their wares for potential customers, and SNA took to the street to find out how the Christmas shopping was going.
Unlike previous years when residents said they had more disposable income to celebrate the occasion, many people said that they will be celebrating the Christian feast on a smaller scale this year.
Gilly Mein said that “Christmas is no longer what it used to be. We can no longer meet other people in groups to hold our traditional Christmas activities.”
“However I see people have come down to town in large numbers for the last minute Christmas shopping which I see has remained the same,” Mein added.
The health authorities have imposed a limit on the number of people allowed to gather in one location during the festive season. Only six people are allowed in a household as part of measures to curb the transmission of the virus.
Traditionally in Seychelles, Christmas Day is spent with family. Many believers attend mass on Christmas Eve and others on the day itself before joining family members in a small gathering.
Fabiola Deltel said, “The preparations and decorations locally made are fantastic! … But Christmas this year with COVID-19… no!”
Deltel added that “part of my family is stuck in South Africa, all this blaming South Africa for everything has ruined our Christmas, so it’s not the same. But whoever of the family is here, we are going to do our best”.
Meanwhile, although Christmas is a public holiday in Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, Allen Comettant, said he will in fact be working on the day.
“I am not celebrating Christmas and this has nothing to do with financial reasons, because we have bought an assortment of food for the occasion, but I prefer to go out and earn some money instead,’ he explained.

Source: Seychelles News Agency