Members of the Christian community in Bangladesh and elsewhere in the world will celebrate the Christmas, their biggest religious festival, on Tuesday commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ.
Christmas is also a celebration of rebirth, new beginnings, forgiveness and peace as a new year approaches. It is a time for the Christians to renew their relationship with God and with their fellow human beings.
The Christians will celebrate the day with special prayers in churches and festivities, including illumination of churches and installation of Christmas trees at homes and places of worship.
According to Christian beliefs, Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus, the Son of God, in a stable in the city of Bethlehem on this day some 2,000 years back.
The day’s celebrations also include decoration of Christmas trees with colourful lights, distribution of gifts by Santa Claus to children, family gatherings and feasts.
The prayer houses and adjoining areas have already been decked out with colourful tiny blinking lights. Illuminated Christmas trees have been placed with a star standing right on the top. Santa Claus will hand out Christmas gifts to the children on the occasion.
In Dhaka, the celebrations begin on Christmas Eve with Christmas carol in hotel lobbies, restaurants, lounges and other public places. Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel, Ruposhi Bangla, Radisson, Westin other posh hotels will arrange parties featuring carols, games and dance performances and also offer special lunch and dinner.
This year, the reception programme, scheduled for Tuesday afternoon at the President’s residence Bangabhaban on the occasion of Christmas, has been postponed ‘due to unavoidable circumstances’.
Bangabhaban authorities in a media statement regretted the inconvenience caused.
The day is a public holiday in Bangladesh. State-run Bangladesh Television, Bangladesh Betar (Radio) and private television channels will air special programmes while national dailies will publish supplements highlighting the significance of the day.
Security measures have been beefed up in the capital to ensure peaceful celebration of Christmas.
Messages from the President and Prime Minister
On the eve of the occasion, President Mohammad Zillur Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday issued messages greeting the Christians of the country and calling for upholding the tradition of religious harmony.
“Great men appeared in different ages to preach the greatness of the almighty creator and make the earth an abode of peace promoting mutual respect and love. Jesus Christ was one of them,” the President said.
He added the ideals and sacrifices of Jesus Christ inspired the people to follow the path of peace and welfare.
He also urged all to continue their efforts for ‘building healthy, prosperous and non-communal Bangladesh’.
In her message, Hasina said: ‘Bangladesh is a country of traditional communal harmony. The goal of the great man Jesus Christ was to establish justice and peace in the world while his entire life was dedicated to bringing a sense of relief in human lives.”
“He remains as an immortal figure for his lifestyle and qualities of character,” she said.
The Prime Minister expressed the hope that the Christmas will strengthen the existing bondage and harmony among the Christian and other faiths of the country.
Source: Bd News24