New Year’s Day in Pakistan is celebrated with fervor across a multitude of culturally, ethnically and religiously diverse communities. Following the global trend of observing New Year’s Day on January 1 in the Gregorian calendar, many Pakistanis welcome the New Year with celebrations, festivities and prayers.

What Do People Do?

New Year celebrations on January 1 widely vary throughout Pakistan. Pakistan is as diverse culturally as it is geographically, so New Year celebrations range from special prayers and religious congregations to private dance parties. Depending on ethnic, cultural, social and religious grounds, people celebrate New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve according to their respective beliefs and value systems.

Pakistan is an Islamic country and also follows the Islamic calendar in addition to the Gregorian calendar. Therefore, the Islamic New Year has a different date to New Year’s Day in the Gregorian calendar. The Islamic New Year’s Day starts with special prayers and sermons in mosques for peace, stability and prosperity in the country. Moreover, other minorities also celebrate their own New Year’s Day with zest.

With the advent of a global culture, New Year parties, concerts, cultural shows and festivals have become popular in Pakistan. People visit their loved ones, exchange gifts and New Year resolutions are also the order of the day.

Both governmental and non-governmental organizations arrange for New Year dinners, parties, concerts and musical nights. Fireworks and pyrotechnic shows also spread color in the night sky on New Year’s Day. Television and radio stations air specially prepared programs, while newspapers and magazines publish special New Year articles.

Public Life

A circular published by the interior ministry declares January 1, 2010 an optional holiday. January 1 is usually not a public holiday in Pakistan; it is however a bank holiday. All public, private educational and business organizations except banks remain fully functional and commence normal daily activity. Banks are closed for the general public but not for their employees. Government employees are entitled to avail optional holidays with prior consent from their departmental heads.

Public transport is available all day long but a commuter will often experience traffic congestion especially on New Year’s Eve. Local transport authorities should be consulted for public transport schedules on specific routes.


Published in Young Nation Magazine on December 30, 2017