Pakistan officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign country in South Asia. Pakistan has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by India to the east, Afghanistan to the west and north, Iran to the southwest and China in the far northeast. It is separated from Tajikistan by Afghanistan’s narrow Wakhan Corridor in the north, and also shares a marine border with Oman.
The Capital and the Largest city of this country is Islamabad.
Christmas Celebrations in Pakistan :
In Pakistan, Christmas is celebrated by Pakistani Christians and is often locally referred to as the “Big Day” or “Great Day”. December 25 is a public holiday in Pakistan, but is not designated for Christmas, but for the birthday of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. Pakistan has a population over 162 million people, there are more than 5 millions Christians and therefore Christianity in Pakistan constitutes the second largest religious minority community in Pakistan after Hindus. Of these, approximately half are Roman Catholic and half Protestant.
Christians celebrate Christmas by going from house to house singing carols, and in return the family offers something to the choir. Mostly the money collected from such carols is used for charity works or is given to the church. Their homes are decorated with local Christmas handicrafts while artificial stars signifying the Star of Bethlehem are hung on rooftops. Christmas celebrations are also popular with the urban middle class in the country with hotels, cafes, restaurants and theme parks hosting festivities and special events.
Christmas and Easter, a big procession takes place, in Lahore, from St. Anthony’s Church to the Cathedral. It takes hours to reach the Cathedral for the services. These are then celebrated with lots of enthusiasm! Before and during Advent, spiritual seminars take place to help people to prepare for Christmas or ‘Bara Din’). This expression is very popular, even among Muslims in Pakistan.
The crib and Christmas tree are also important decorations. On Christmas eve, Churches are packed for the midnight or vigil-mass services. The choirs sing very special hymns. After the vigil-mass, in some places, there are fireworks. People dance, exchange presents and enjoy the special night. On Christmas day, Christians go to Church again for celebrations wearing their best, colourful clothes. They can stay in the Church courtyard for hours, enjoying various food from the different stalls. The evening is usually celebrated with immediate family or relatives where special food is enjoyed. Adults often visit their parents.
In Pakistan Santa Claus/Father Christmas is known as ‘Christmas Baba’.
How do you say Merry Christmas in Pakistan? – “Bara Din Mubarrak Ho!”
Wishing all readers Merry Christmas 2019 & Happy New Year 2020 !!!