Christmas is celebrated by Pakistani Christians and is often locally referred to as the “Big Day” or “Great Day”. While December 25 is a Public Holiday in Pakistan, it is not officially designated as Christmas, but rather as the birthday of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, Photo by Yasir Kazmi, Karachi, Pakistan.
The total number of Christians is approximately 2,800,000 in 2008, or 1.6% of the population. Of these, approximately half are Roman Catholic and half Protestant. Christians celebrate Christmas by going from house to house singing carols, and in return the family offers something to the choir. Mostly the money collected from such carols is used for charity works or is given to the church. Their homes are decorated with local Christmas handicrafts while artificial stars signifying the Star of Bethlehem are hung on rooftops. Christmas celebrations are also popular with the urban middle class in the country with hotels, cafes, restaurants and theme parks hosting festivities and special events.