The Christian community will celebrate the Christmas Day in Bangladesh on Tuesday (tomorrow) with festivity commemorating the birthday of Jesus Christ as elsewhere in the world.
The Christians of different groups will celebrate the festival amid festivity and religious fervour by offering special prayers, illuminating churches, installing makeshift Christmas trees at homes and places of worship and missions.
Elderly people of the community, attired in the outfit of Santa Claus, make fun with children and distribute gifts among kids as part of a universal Christian practice.
In separate messages, President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina greeted members of the Christian community on this occasion.
In his message, President Hamid called upon all to consolidate the long-standing tradition of religious harmony in the country irrespective of religion, caste and position.
Noting that Bangladesh is a bright instance of communal harmony, he said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman dreamed of a non-communal Bangladesh.
The head of the state said Jesus Christ had invited the derailed people to the path of truth and justice.
“He taught the path of love for people, forgiveness, affection, compassion, how to establish justice and peaceful coexistence in the society,” the President added.
The President called upon all to work together to build a happy, prosperous and non-communal Bangladesh.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in her message, called upon the people irrespective of religion, caste and creed to come forward to expedite the development activities in the country and its people being imbued with mankind.
“One of the goals of Jesus Christ was to establish justice and peace in the world . . . Great Christ had sacrificed himself for the endangered and hungry people and he remains immortal in the human history for his lifestyle and strict characteristic,” she mentioned.
The Prime Minister added: “Bangladesh is a country of communal harmony. People of all classes are enjoying full freedom in exercising their respective religious activities.”
She hoped that the Christmas will further strengthen the relations between the Christians and the people of other communities.
Churches have been illuminated, Christmas trees set up and candles lit at homes and churches by the Christian community to celebrate the event with due 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 day is a public holiday. The national dailies will publish special articles marking the Christmas.
Bangladesh Television, Bangladesh Betar and private radio stations and TV channels will air special programmes marking the festival.