By Shannon Wei
KUCHING — On the evening of 7 December, nearly 8,000 people braved the rain at this year’s annual Kuching Christmas Parade, donning coloured umbrellas, ponchos and raincoats along the streets of Kuching.
Marchers from the various denominations and groups gathered at MBKS Jubilee Ground before the rain seeped in and the grounds transformed into a colourful ‘carnival’ site.
It was also a celebration of multiculturalism, with opening prayers, scripture readings and the singing of hymns in various languages before each contingent took their faith to the streets.
This year’s parade, held from 6.00 to 10.00 in the evening, went with the theme “All I Want for Christmas is Jesus”.
As the night went on, the streets came to life with musical performances, multicoloured floats, costume displays and the giving of sweets.
The annual 4km route in the heart of Kuching covered the HSBC roundabout to Jalan Padungan, Jalan Tun Abdul Rahim (Kuching Waterfront), Lebuh Temple (Harbour View Hotel), Lebuh Wayang (former Star Cineplex), Jalan Tabuan (former Ting & Ting Supermarket & Borneo Hotel), Jalan Ban Hock (Grand Continental Hotel and MBKS flats), and back to MBKS Jubilee Ground.
This year, the Roman Catholic contingent comprised 520 official representatives from the five city parishes of St Joseph’s Cathedral, Blessed Sacrament Church, St Peter’s Church, Holy Trinity Church and Chapel of Mother Mary.
Fellow participating churches included the Anglican Church, Methodist Church SCAC, Methodist Church SIAC, BEM (SIB) Church, Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Sarawak Baptist Church, Blessed Church, Kuching Ministers’ Fellowship Member Churches and more, together with contingents from Salvation Army, Boys’ Brigade and Girls’ Brigade.
The Kuching Christmas Parade 2019 was jointly organised by the Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS) and supported by the Kuching Ministers’ Fellowship, with the hosting church being Methodist Church SCAC.