Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas 2010 in Pakistan - - Celebrations of Colours, Lights, Songs and Special Services in Churches

Pakistan is a very diverse society with various ethnic and religious minorities. Christianity is the second largest religion in Pakistan which comprises of 2.5 percent of total Pakistan population. 

Although Pakistan is an Islamic country, but Christmas in Pakistan is the main festival of the 5 millions Christians in Pakistan and is celebrated with religious fervour and enthusiasm like any other minority festival. Christmas also brings forth the various traditions and customs of Christmas celebrations in Pakistan.

As soon as the Christmas is around the corner, the faithful Christian community start to feel the spirit of Christmas. Whether Protestant or Catholic, they start to decorate their churches for Sunday mass. In Christian schools and institutions evenings are delighted with music and plays.

In Warispura vicinity, the largest Christian community in the surroundings of Faisalabad, Christians start decoration of houses and streets. Christmas trees go up in people's homes and new clothes are bought for children. Multicolour stars brighten rooftops. 

Exchanging gifts and presents is an old tradition and the same is observed at the time of Christmas. Christmas is a time for charities to help the poor, the sick and those in prison. Traditionally, gents give glass bangles to ladies of their family. Women, on the other hand, use ‘Henna’ to create traditional hand and foot decorations known as mehndi.

In schools, month of December is thought to be the month for third term exams, but in Christian Schools these exams are often concluded in November or the first week of December so that the rest of the month can be spent in Christmas preparations and celebrations. Students need the time to rehearse for the Nativity play, usually staged on the last days of school of December 20 or 21 before Winter break.

At Midnight and Christmas Day mass churches are full. Those who do not visit the church during the rest of the year; do not miss to attend special services on the Christmas. Christmas is known as Bara Din, the great day, when people put on their brightest clothes to meet others in an atmosphere of brotherhood.

Since December 25 is a national holiday in Pakistan non Christians celebrate it too for it was on his day in 1876 that Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founding father of Pakistan, was born.


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