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Keeping Baby Jesus warm

The story of a Robin bird that fluttered its wings near the fire to keep Baby Jesus warm is perhaps the most popular among the Christmas folklore.

In Kerala, there is a curious ‘fire warming ritual’ practiced in some churches on the Christmas eve. Called Thee Kaykkal (fire warming), this is held during the Holy Midnight Mass.

In this, a statue of Baby Jesus is ceremoniously taken out by the priest. In devout veneration the priest and the faithful proceed to a specially prepared fire in front of the church.

The priest holds the Baby near the fire symbolizing the story of fire warming after Jesus Christ’s birth. Special prayers follow this.

This video clip is of the Thee Kaykkal ceremony held at Lourdes Forane Church near PMG junction in Thiruvananthapuram district.