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Christmas in Pakistan

Christmas in Pakistan

Today, I did Choose topic for Article Writing is ‘’Christmas in Pakistan’’. Originally I am Pakistani and belong to big and famous city of Pakistan “Lahore”.

Although, Pakistan is an Islamic country and 96.28% population of Pakistan are Muslims.

But, it doesn’t mean that the other religion cannot celebrate their religious festivals and practice their religion freely. In Pakistan all citizens (Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Hindu and other religions have equal rights in all matters.

In Pakistan, December 25th Christmas day coincide with the Birthday of the founder of Pakistan Mr. Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Pakistan has a population over 220 million people, there are more than 5 millions Christians!

Pakistani Christian (Catholic, protestant) celebrate Christmas with full of passion like the rest of the World. They start their Christmas preparation in Churches four weeks before Christmas day.  They go to churches for different Christmas services like carol, prayers, Advent wreath etc. They do Christmas markets inside, around or besides the churches. They setup some stalls only for charity.

At Christian festivals, Like Christmas and Easter, a big procession takes Place, in different churches, like in Lahore, from St.Anthony’s Church to the cathedral. It takes hours to reach the cathedral of 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 Big day. In Pakistani Language this day is called ‘’Bara Din’’.

During the last week of Advent, in many different areas, carol singing is performed by various groups. They go 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.

All Christian’s houses are decorated and have a star and different lights on the roof. The streets are also decorated and lit. The crib and Christmas tree are also important decorations. Sometimes there are crib competitions! They also exchange Christmas cakes.

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 which help celebrate the start of Big Day (Christmas). People dance, exchange presents and enjoy the special night.

On Christmas Day, Christians go to Church again for Christmas celebrations. People wear their best, colourful clothes. They can stay in the Church courtyard for hours, enjoying various foods from the different stalls. The evening is usually celebrated with immediate family or relatives where special dinner is enjoyed. Friends, families and relatives visit each other. On that day Muslim and other religious people also give gifts to their Christian friends. All different faiths celebrate Christmas together.

I have been living in Ireland for many years. I don’t see any big difference regarding celebration of Christmas here and in Pakistan. Only bit difference is because of culture is that Muslims celebrate their Eid festival which is equivalent to Christmas for three days. So, Christians also celebrate Christmas for three days. Others is that in Pakistan Christians go out on Christmas day for visiting relatives ,families, friends and watching movies, cinema, theatre etc. They bring their kids to parks, Zoo and these kinds of Places.

In Pakistan Santa Claus/Father Christmas is known as ‘Christmas Baba’

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