KARACHI: Like other parts of the country, Christians fraternity celebrated their annual religious festivity, Christmas, with great zeal and fervour in Karachi on Wednesday amid tight security and special cleanliness.
They started prayers and other rituals at midnight in all the churches, including St Peter’s Church, which continued till early morning.
The buildings, houses and churches of Christian community were illuminated in Saddar, Shah Faisal Colony, Essa Nagri, Azam Basti, Mauripur and other areas of the city.
Christmas trees were also decorated with lights at various places in the city, The fathers and bishops recited verses from Bible in churches. They also prayed for progress of the nation and the country.
The men, women and children engaged themselves in Christmas activities like gift giving, Christmas music, church celebrations, a special meal, and the display of various Christmas decorations, including Christmas trees, Christmas lights and nativity scenes.
Christians called on their relatives and exchanged Christmas greetings. They were served and treated with special sweets, cakes and food at homes and other places.
Pakistan Television, private channels and Radio Pakistan broadcast special programs to highlight the importance of day and to show unity with the Christians community across Pakistan.
The traditions associated with the festival primarily include Christmas trees, Santa Claus and Christmas gifts. Santa Claus attracts people with his bright red and snowy white costumes. The jolly white-bearded man serves the people with gifts, best wishes and sweets.
Heavy contingents of police were deployed around churches across the city to thwart any untoward incident. Karachi administration also made special cleanliness arrangements around churches and localities of Christians.
MQM MPA Nishat Mohammad Zia Qadri along with officials visited holy places of Christians in Shah Faisal Zone and wished them happy Christmas.
Speaking on the occasion, Qadri said that Christmas is the festivity of friendship, peace, unity, and love & affection. “MQM believes in unity of humanity and also gives equal status to all Christians living in Pakistan,” he said.
President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif have also extended greetings to the Christians on the occasion of Christmas.