A dual holiday on 25 December:
In Pakistan, Christmas is freely celebrated, and the 25th of December is a government holiday in honor of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who founded Pakistan (1876-1948). Christians in this country with a large Muslim population have a chance to celebrate the birth of Christ during the national holiday. There are more than 5 million Christians in Pakistan, which has a population of more than 162 million. The Christian community in Pakistan celebrates the grand celebration of Christmas with customary fervor and passion.
Terms used to celebrate Christmas in Pakistan and other countries:
Every culture has a distinct name for this day and celebrates it through its traditions. The most common names for Christmas in called in Pakistan is “Bara Din”(Urdu) and “Wadda Din” in Punjabi. It is referred to as Shubh Borodin in Bangladesh and Badda Dinko Shuvkamnaa in Nepal. Christmas is known as Eid-e-Milad al Masih in Arabic (birthday of the masseur).
Traditions of Christmas in Pakistan:
Home decoration and preparations:
The beginning of December marks the start of celebrations. People decorate their entire homes, buy new furnishings, and practically every Christian family makes an effort to acquire and decorate a Christmas tree. The month of December is also frequently used for engagement and wedding rituals. Poor families have to wait an entire year to buy their kids new clothes and shoes. Every person in the family invites their parents or other respected adults to visit them and their loved ones in various locations.
White gift ceremony:
Some churches have special "White Gift" ceremonies during the first week of December for ladies who are instructed to wear white dresses in remembrance of Mary, the mother of Jesus. The church provides gifts to its female members during these services. Many Christians give food baskets and cash to widows, children, and low-income families that are in need.
Gifts delivered to married daughters:
Before the day of Christmas, parents sending gifts and treats to their daughters who got married is another attractive cultural practice. The married daughter waits with great happiness for her relatives to bring her a Christmas gift in her in-laws' home because they typically reside nearby or even with her husband's parents. It is seen as a token of affection and respect for the daughter.
Young ladies and young boys preparations:
Young ladies decorate their hands with exquisite henna designs and bangles while dressing in new outfits. To depict the tale of Jesus' birth, young boys and churchgoers employ street art to decorate the exteriors of their homes. Local churches occasionally hold competitions to decorate managers on the roadside in Christian neighborhoods. Each church has a large star on top and is decked with lights. Families are also allowed to hang cardboard stars in their house windows. Various churches host Christmas song contests and carol-singing events. Christmas meals are made, and plays and other activities are put on by Sunday schools to help people remember the Christmas narrative.
Everybody at home watches their clocks on Christmas Eve, hoping for the exact moment when all three arms will converge. When everyone congratulates one another, it is such a happy moment "A very happy holiday to you! Happy Holidays! WADDA DIN MUBARAK BARRA DIN MUBARAK" Elders wish their offspring a long life, as well as peace, love, and harmony, while children embrace one another. Youth light fireworks in the streets with their elders as another celebration of this wonderful day.
Churches are crowded on Christmas Eve for the midnight services. Very special hymns are sung by the choirs. In certain locations, fireworks are set off after midnight to mark the beginning of Bara Din. People spend the special night dancing and exchanging gifts. On Christmas Eve, in addition to family gatherings, individuals who can go to church also gather, and most communities make an effort to make it to midnight service. The service of some churches is traditional. Reading, prayer, and multigenerational family groups leading song and carol singing are all common in small churches in rural and farming communities. Following the midnight ceremony, people wave to oncoming walkers and visitors. After the midnight service, several families continue to visit one another.
The character of Santa Claus:
In Pakistan, many Christian people adopt the character of Santa Claus in schools, churches, and shopping malls to fascinate the children. Santa Claus a legendary character who traditionally serves as Christmas's patron saint in the USA And other countries brings presents to kids. He is the favorite person of all kids in the world at Christmas celebrations. A fantasy folk story is famous among children that Santa Claus is said to live at the North Pole with his spouse, where he works with his helpers to make toys throughout the year. He gets letters from kids there requesting Christmas presents. On Christmas Eve, Santa fills his sleigh with toys and, accompanied by eight reindeer, flies across the globe, stopping at each child's home. He slips down the chimney to leave the gifts while he eats milk and cookies that the children of the household have left for him. Children leave their shiny shoes at the front of the fireplace (chimney) on Christmas Eve in the hopes that Santa Claus will fill them with sweets.
Christmas Day time celebrations:
At the start of the day, prayers are performed for Pakistan's peace, progress, and prosperity at special services that are conducted in churches all around the nation. The largest celebration occurred at St. Anthony's Church to the Cathedral in Lahore during Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter. Getting to the Church for the sessions takes hours. These are then enthusiastically celebrated! Spiritual seminars are held during and before Advent to assist people in getting ready for Christmas. Christmas Day is celebrated in Pakistan in a variety of entertaining ways that make the occasion unique. Some of those having dinner parties, feature dishes or sweets that are seasonal. Some individuals give gifts that have special meaning, while others redecorate their houses in a particular way, arrange festivals or parades, or throw gatherings to mark the start of the holiday and continue celebrating well into the night.
In our country, we gave the right to all minorities to celebrate their festivals with full freedom. In our flag, the white portion shows the minority. As a major Islamic country, Islam as a religion also teaches us not to forbid other religious people to do their worship and services. Christmas is a major event celebrated by people in Pakistan with full right to freedom and also Muslims wish them very happy.
"Merry Christmas to all those who celebrate it in Pakistan".