Christmas is coming and every one is excited about Christmas celebration. Like other parts of the world the Christian community living in Pakistan has been celebrating Christmas with zeal and fervor. In Pakistan, the Christian community celebrates its religious festival with traditional enthusiasm.
Christmas Celebration In Pakistan
At Christian festivals, like 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’ (which in Urdu and Punjabi means the ‘Big Day’). This expression is very popular, even among Muslims in Pakistan.
During the last week of Advent, in many Christian 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. In the big Christian areas, each house is decorated and has a star on the roof. The streets are also decorated and lit. The crib and Christmas tree are also important decorations. Sometimes there are crib competitions! Christians also sometimes 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 Bara Din. People dance exchange presents and enjoy the special night. Christmas Day, Christians go to Church again for the Bara Din celebrations. People wear their best, colorful 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. And of course, they wait for Santa Claus to collect the gifts from him.