Today (December 25) is Christmas Day, the birthday of Jesus Christ, Jewish preacher and religious leader of the first-century.
The Christians of different groups in Bangladesh and 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 as well as missions across the country.
Elderly people of the community, attired in the outfit of Santa Claus, usually have fun with children and distribute gifts among kids as part of a universal Christian practice.
The day is a public holiday.
In separate messages, President Mohammed Shahabuddin and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina greeted members of the Christian community on the occasion.
They wished peace, welfare and prosperity to all citizens, including Christians.
President Shahabuddin, in his message, said Bangladesh is a country of communal harmony as people of all religions have been practicing their religions and rituals independently in this country for long.
Noting that Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman dreamt of building a non-communal Bangladesh, he urged all to work together to build a happy, prosperous and non-communal Smart Bangladesh.
About Jesus Christ’s contribution to society, the head of the state said Jesus taught people to be in a peaceful position with love, compassion, forgiveness, affection, empathy and the establishment of justice.
“Instead of earthly life, Jesus Christ put emphasis on the importance of spiritual happiness through renunciation, restraint and charity,” Shahabuddin opined.
The President thought that the teachings and ideals of Jesus Christ are very relevant in establishing peace and harmony in a trouble-torn world apart from establishing harmony and unity among nations.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in her message, hoped that all will work together to build a ‘Smart Bangladesh’ in the current digital Bangladesh with the aim of building a hunger-poverty-free and non-communal ‘Sonar Bangladesh’, the lifelong dream of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Noting that religion belongs to the individuals, while festivals are for all, the Premier said: “In our constitution, equal rights of people of all religions and castes have been ensured … The development of people of all classes, professions and communities is our main goal. To achieve this goal, we are working to ensure a dignified and safe life for the people of all communities.”
Sheikh Hasina said Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem on this day and one of his vows was to establish a society free from exploitation by establishing justice and peace in the world.
The great Jesus, she mentioned, scarified himself for the poor and starving people, while his ideal lifestyle and strict characteristics still remain immortal in human history.
Greeting the countrymen, specially the Christians, on this occasion, the Premier wished all citizens’ peace, welfare and prosperity.
On the holy day, churches in the capital will be illuminated while Christmas trees will be set up and candles lit at homes and churches by the Christian community to celebrate the event amid religious fervour.
According to tradition, Santa Claus 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 programmes marking the festival.