Nepal Christians are celebrating Christmas, the greatest festival of Christians, with much fanfare throughout the country today.
It is celebrated to mark the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25. The festival has been recognized as a national festival since 2007, as non-Christians also celebrate Christmas with a lot of zeal.
On the occasion, Christians visit church and exchange gifts with family and friends. The King of Rome Constantine started the celebration of the festival in 350 AD.
Meanwhile, President Bidhya Devi Bhandari has extended her heartfelt Christmas greetings to all Nepali Christians living at home and abroad, wishing them for peace, happiness, prosperity, good health, unity, brotherhood and progress.
The Federation of National Christian, Nepal has also wished all Christians and non-Christians a Merry Christmas and urged the government and agitating parties to solve the ongoing crisis in the country.
Christian community has celebrated “X-Mass” day in Nepal visiting various Churches. Nepali Christians are busy going to the Churches and exchanging gifts and having feasts with their nearer and dearer. There is an official holiday in Nepal on the Christmas day for Christian.
There are so many functions organized in Thamel, Kathmandu. There are many decoration and lighting going on in Thamel. Music, concerts and many attractions to tourists are held in Thamel. Restaurants offer discounts and lots of food varieties during Christmas in Thamel and other towns in Nepal. There are big celebrations in Pokhara too.
Christmas is celebrated more amongst the Christian communities in Nepal. However, other communities also participate in parties and non religious celebrations during holiday with Christians. In other words, people of Nepal celebrate Christmas as a national festival as they celebrate other festivals.
Protestant Christians came to Nepal primarily through the Nepalese who were living outside of Nepal during and prior to the Rana Regime. After the collapse of Ranas rule in Nepal in 1950, Nepali Christians living in India came in, along with some western missionaries. United Mission to Nepal, International Nepal Fellowship and others are a few earliest western mission agencies that came in and brought Christianity. According to the government data, Protestantism accounts for about 0.5% to 1% of Nepali population.
People start shopping from the beginning of December. Christmas trees are erected at homes with lots of decorations on it. Trees are decorated with bells, starts, reindeers, gift boxes, and many other decorations. The Christmas trees are lit up with twinkling lights. People attend services in the church during the mid night. In the morning people visit the houses of friends and convey their best wishes. Gifts are being exchanged. In the evenings the Christian homes host special Christmas feasts. The feast comprises roasted chicken, vegetable salad and other Nepali foods along with turkey, pumpkin pies and Christmas puddings. The foods and celebration depends upon the status of people, however, all celebrates the birth of Lord Jesus with zeal and enthusiasm.