islamabad - Special programmes for Christmas Day were held at Pakistan National Museum of Ethnology (Heritage Museum).

The Christmas activities including cake cutting ceremony, erection of Christmas tree, distribution of sweets and gifts by Santa Claus, live folk musical performances and cultural diversity shows were arranged by Lok Virsa in collaboration with Temple of Lord Church, New Shakrial.

A large number of people from all walks of life including Christian community attended the ceremony and enjoyed the thrilling performances and presentations rendered by the artists and musicians.

Talking to media, a young Christian boy Aneel said, “It is a day of great entertainment and joy for us. Lok Virsa has done a lot to contribute towards our happiness. We are thankful to its management.”

A female Christian girl Sanam Gill said, “We are proud of our rich culture. It is very diverse. Lok Virsa deserves appreciation for celebrating Christian and Quaid Day in such a beautiful manner. The performances were fabulous.”

Executive Director Lok Virsa and eminent folklorist, cultural expert, research scholar and social activist, Dr Fouzia Saeed congratulated Christian community on their auspicious occasion. She said, “Christmas is a time for celebration and rejoicing. It is also a time to reflect on the message of Jesus Christ, the eternal message of love, peace and forgiveness.”

Highlighting the role of his organisation, Dr Fouzia Saeed added, “Lok Virsa is a national institution dealing with Pakistan’s rich cultural heritage. It lives in the hearts of the masses who are the real bearers of our magnificent cultural heritage. We always plan and present such programmes and activities that create love, peace, harmony and solidarity in all classes of society including minorities. The today’s event is a step forward in this direction.”

Meanwhile, the Christian community in Rawalpindi on Friday celebrated Christmas with traditional service at churches, prayers of peace, exchange of gifts, family reunions and dinners. Special prayers were offered at major churches focused on remembering the people, who had lost their lives in terror attacks.

The city churches, particularly Catholic Church, Lalkurti, Protestant Church, Mall Road, Saddar and Catholic Church at Christian Colony were decorated with lights and buntings. The festivities of Christmas started with prayers and other rituals at the churches. The participants were checked by metal detectors and walkthrough gates to avoid any untoward incident. Heavy contingents of police were deployed around churches. The traffic police had also devised a special plan to maintain traffic flow on the city roads