Christmas in Pakistan

by Bill Egan, Christmas Historian

Pakistan is in southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea, between India on the east and Iran and Afghanistan on the west and China in the north.

December 25 is a public holiday in Pakistan but it is not in memory of Jesus. The day is dedicated to Quaid-e-Azam Jinnah, the founder of the nation.

Pakistan is a predominantly muslim country (97%). For this reason Christmas does not receive national recognition. The celebration is quite simple and traditions vary from town to town with church services being held on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day which is called Barha Din or Greatest Day. Christian Pakistanis dress in bright clothes to celebrate the birth of the Christ Child.

Christmas dinner will usually feature chicken or beef curry, rice and something sweet for dessert. Families get together on this day if they live close to each other and, as in many other nations, there is visiting with neighbors.

2002 by W. C. Egan

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