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Sunday, 16 November 2014

How Christmas is celebrated in Saudi Arabia?

During holy month of Ramadan routine of Muslims in KSA as well as others in rest of the world change entirely. Muslims fast during this holy month in obedience with orders of Allah. KSA has a flexible schedule in accommodation of Muslims with shortened hours fasting and closure of eateries before sunset. The concern is that whether Saudi Arabia accommodates non-Muslims in this regard. In KSA, there are so many expatriates residing for many reasons like studies, jobs, professional key officers, specialist and ambassadors. Those non-Muslims surely can’t follow the fasting schedule of Muslims in the same regard due to religious differences. People are curious to know how KSA accommodates such individuals in state for non-fasting practice during Ramadan.


The answer to this question is somehow complicated. As the accommodation of non-Muslims in this regard depends on place of residence or working in Kingdom, employer or scenario where one is working. It is same like celebration of Christmas and Easter events in Kingdom for foreigner residing there. There are several places in Kingdom especially in rural areas of KSA, where owners of organizations allow holidays and celebrations for such occasions. In case if the company’s situation is not in a rush area, the owner can allow for decorations and related stuff for celebration of Christmas and Easter. There foreigner feel comfortable for the practicing their festive occasions in an open and easy way.


Many large Saudi organizations with a high number of expatriates will allow some concessions for those who celebrate Christmas.  For example, if an office is not located in a widely-traveled area or serves the public, an employer may allow the expatriate employees to decorate the office in a festive atmosphere of Christmas cheer. It is not the end; in some cases even employees are given gifts and special packages for Christmas or other religious and national occasions. This practice is also common in social circles of KSA where many treat expatriates on such occasions like their own country.

The foreigners in country feel pleased to celebrate their religious occasions like Christmas and Easter with full ease and happiness as if they are in their own country. Several Saudi families often invite foreigner to their homes on these occasions. In these celebrations, Muslims with non-Muslims, stay together to wish them such festive occasions to their brothers and sisters to show their sympathies and love for them. There is an exception for non-Muslims in case they are residing in KSA for several reasons. They are not bound to follow fasting rules as per followed by Muslims but they have to show respect. In this case they are not allowed to eat openly on public places. As this practice can violate respect for Islamic rules and essence of Shariah. In this regard there is a relationship of respect between Muslims in Kingdom and non-Muslims. It also promotes brotherhood and unity in KSA.   

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