ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: With Christmas around the corner, the Christian community of twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad has begun preparations for the big day with full zeal and enthusiasm.
As Christmas approaches on December 25, the Christian community living in the twin cities decorate their homes with Christmas trees, wreaths, garlands, ornaments, tableware, lights, stockings etc. Gifts are also kept under the Christmas trees for children.
From official gatherings to cake cutting ceremonies in small families, the festive occasion fills the atmosphere with colors, symbols and traditions of Christmas.
Talking to media, Imran, a preacher of the Catholic Church Lalkurti Rawalpindi, said we should follow the beliefs of Jesus Christ that was based on love, brotherhood, peace and harmony to deal with issues like terrorism and extremism.
He said we should not forget those people who are not with us anymore.
“Christmas is an occasion to forgive and forget, therefore we should forgive others and forget their mistakes and should move own with a new start,” he said.
According to an official of Ministry of Interfaith Harmony and Religious Affairs, funds and gifts are also distributed among the deserving Christian community people across the country.
It may be added that 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 Christmas.
Jeffery Micheal, a resident of Rawalpindi said he lost his father 32 years ago and the first thing that he does after the Christmas mass is he visits his father’s grave.
Jerry Francis said he celebrates Christmas with his family and relatives as it is the only time in the year when he gets a chance to meet all his family members and relatives.
Marry Ann, said her brothers and sisters stay in the Church courtyard for hours, enjoying various foods from the different stalls.
“Then we go home and our parents have kept gifts for us under the Christmas tree,” she said.