Now we know all about the Christmas customs in Norway, we head south easterly for 5,524km to Pakistan.
Pakistan, located in south Asia, has the second largest Muslim population in the world. The total population exceeds 212 million people and the country covers an area of 881,913 square km.
Home to the world's highest cash machine (ATM) - at a height of 4,963m located at the Khunjerab Pass - Pakistan is also the location of some of the world's tallest mountains, including K-2 and has the world's highest paved international road - The Karakoram Pass.
If you've ever kicked a football, you've probably kicked one made in Pakistan. Around 40% of the world's footballs (soccer not American!) are hand-sewn in Pakistan in the city of Sialkot.
So, how do they celebrate Christmas in Pakistan?
Christmas in Pakistan is celebrated on 25th December.
Christians are only a small percentage of the population (although that ‘small percentage’ is 5 million).
In predominately Christian areas, houses and streets tend to be decorated with lights and each house has a star on the roof. Many homes will have a Christmas Tree and a Nativity crib/scene.
December 25th is a public holiday but in remembrance of Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, rather than for Christmas. In Lahore there’s a big procession from St. Anthony’s Church to the Cathedral which usually takes hours, after which there are services.
Before and during Advent there are frequent spiritual seminars which are to help people prepare for Christmas. Christmas is often referred to as ‘Bara Din’ (Big Day).
The week before Christmas, carol singing is very popular. Groups of carol singers go house to house performing and collecting money for either church or charity. The Midnight mass service is very popular, which is followed by fireworks and dancing to celebrate. People exchange presents and Christmas cake. On Christmas Day, people attend Church services dressed in their bets colourful clothes, and stalls are often set up in the church courtyard where people can spend hours just trying the various food. People then spend the evening with their family.
The main Christmas meal is eaten in the evening of Christmas Day. The typical dishes are; chicken or beef curry, rice, and a sweet dish of some kind.
Our next Christmas destination looks at Christmas in the Palestinian Territories.