Christmas Day today
Christmas Day, the birthday of Jesus Christ, a first-century Jewish preacher and religious leader, is being celebrated around the world including Bangladesh today.
The Christians of different groups in Bangladesh elsewhere across the world will celebrate the day amid festivity and religious fervor.
They will celebrate the day by offering special prayers, illuminating churches and installing makeshift Christmas trees at homes and places of worship and missions across the country.
Elderly people of the community, attired in the outfit of Santa Claus, usually make fun with children and distribute gifts among kids as part of universal Christian practice.
But due to the pandemic COVID-19, the day will be celebrated on a limited scale maintaining health rules, including maintaining social distancing and wearing masks everywhere.
The day is a public holiday.
President M Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Opposition Leader in the Jatiya Sangsad Begum Rowshan Ershad, and BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, in separate messages, greeted members of the Christian community on the occasion.
They called upon the members of the Christian community to celebrate the holy day maintaining the health rules due to the outbreak of the second spell of the fatal disease Coronavirus that struck many world countries including Bangladesh.
In his message, President M Abdul Hamid said Jesus Christ taught people to be at peace with love, service, forgiveness, compassion, empathy and the establishment of justice. Instead of worldly happiness, Jesus Christ emphasized the attainment of spiritual happiness through sacrifice, self-control, and giving. “I think the teachings and ideals of Jesus Christ are very relevant in establishing peace in a troubled world, including the establishment of harmony and unity among nations,” the President added.
Greeting the followers of Christianity on the occasion of the day, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, “We will all celebrate the festival together, inspired by the mantra of religion belongs to everyone, festival belongs to all. Our constitution guarantees equal rights to people of all religions and castes. Bangladesh is a safe haven for all people irrespective of religion or caste.”
Speaking on the eve of Christmas, Nirmal Rosario, president of Bangladesh Christian Association, said, “Although we have celebrated Christmas to a limited extent due to COVID, spiritually we are the same as before. We will have prayers on Christmas so that we recover from the pandemic.”
He said prayers would be offered in the church following social distance and hygiene rules.
On the holy day, churches in the capital will be illuminated, Christmas trees set up and candles lit at homes and churches by the Christian community to celebrate the event amid religious fervour.
According to the tradition, Santa Clause will distribute sweets and gifts among children in churches on the occasion. This is a ‘great day’ for children in the Christian community, who sing carols on the occasion in praise of Jesus Christ and God and exchange gifts.
The national dailies will publish special articles highlighting the importance of Christmas.
Bangladesh Television, Bangladesh Betar and private radio stations and TV channels will air special programs marking the festival.