Christmas Celebrations in Bangladesh
Bangladesh is a predominantly Islamic country so only a tiny minority of people celebrate Christmas there.
However, Christmas Day is taken as a holiday even though only around 0.3% of 170 million people are actually Christians.
The word used in Bangladesh for Christmas is Borodin’ or ‘the big day’ in Bengali. Furthermore, the words used to wish others a Happy Christmas or Merry Xmas in the Bengali language are shubho or Shuvo bôṛodin.
Christmas In the Cities and Towns
In the urban areas, most of the shops and hotels have ‘western’ type decorations such as artificial snow as well as lit plastic Christmas Trees.
Putting up Christmas trees is increasing in popularity, particularly In Christian homes.
It is also becoming more popular for people to give and receive Christmas cards to each other.
Going back to villages for Christmas church services
Christians who live in urban areas often attempt to go home to home villages to be with their families over the Christmas period.
The Catholics will generally go to the Midnight Masses.
Decorating Buildings for Christmas
One way of decorating buildings for different festive occasions in the country are chains of ‘Nishan’ or small flag. These are chains consisting of many small triangles made out of pink paper.
Christmas songs and carols
It is a custom In Bengali churches, for men to sit on one side, and for the women to sit on the other side of the church.
Favorite Christmas carols sang in churches include ‘Aaj Shuvo Borodin bhai, aaj Shuvo Borodin’ that translates as ‘Today is Happy Borodin, friend, Today is Happy Borodin’.
Kirtan is another form of song in Bangladesh that is also sung at Christmas, in churches and homes too.
It is part of the Bengali Christian tradition, that the kirtan is sung by a singer who leads the song with everyone else following their lead.
Special Festival meals and Foods
After attending the church services, particularly in the countryside, it’s a custom that the congregation has Christmas dinner In the church. This is known as ‘Preeti-bhoj’ which translates as ‘love feast’.
This feast consists of dishes such as chicken or sometimes vegetable curries usually served with rice.
There are delicious puddings to eat after Christmas dinner.
These tasty treats include ‘pitha’ (which, are sweet rice cakes) as well as ‘payesh’, a creamy and rich rice pudding.
Happy/Merry Christmas in Bengali is shubho [or shuvo] bôṛodin (শুভ বড়দিন). It is interesting to know how people wish Happy or Merry Christmas in other languages.
Learn More With the Help of Video
Main Points About Christmas in Bangladesh
- With a Christian population of about 0.03% out of a national population of over170 million, Bangladesh is not very different from many countries at Christmas.
- In Bengali, Christmas is called ‘Bara Din’, which translates to mean Big day,
- On Christmas day, people go to church to kick start the celebration. Friends and family greet and share the Bengali traditional cakes.
- To the Bengalis, Christmas is so much more than festive decorations and gifts. It’s about loved ones and everything that brings joy.
- The Christmas festivity is accompanied by Christmas carols and a masquerade party with lots of food, drinks, and music for all to enjoy.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Christmas in Bangladesh
There are only about 0,3% of Christians in Bangladesh, but Christmas is still a public holiday. It’s known as ”Borodin” meaning ”The Big Day” in Bengali.
Christmas is celebrated very much like in western countries, with decorations and Midnight Mass as well as their own traditional songs. In rural areas, it’s common to have dinner together at the church.
This is known as ”Preeti-bhoj” which means ”love feast” – pretty good name for this, don’t you think?
Word Cloud for Christmas in Bangladesh
The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on Christmas in Bangladesh. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.