Today is Holy Christmas.
The Christians in Bangladesh and around the world will celebrate the day commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ.
It is the most important festival for all the Christians of the world.
On the eve of the occasion, the Christian community of the country has urged all to lend a hand to the victims of Cyclone Sidr and this year's back-to-back flooding.
According to Christian beliefs, God entered the world of men through his son, Jesus Christ, on this day.
It is also a celebration of rebirth, new beginnings, forgiveness and peace as a new year approaches. It is a time for the Christians to renew their relationship with God and with their fellow human beings.
The day is a public holiday.
The celebrations of the festival starts on the Christmas Eve with singing carols in public spaces like lobbies, restaurants and lounges.
Special prayers will be held at churches.
The churches and adjoining grounds will be decked out with colourful tiny blinking lights and illuminated Christmas trees will be placed with a star standing right on top. Besides, Santa Claus will hand out Christmas presents to the children, family gatherings will take place and Christmas Day feasts will be held.
Members of police and Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) will remain on guard at the churches across the country. In a press release yesterday, Rab said that stringent security measures have been taken up apprehending subversive activities on the Christmas day by some vested quarters.
A number of organisations, individuals and Sonargaon Hotel, Dhaka Sheraton and The Westin Dhaka have arranged parties featuring Christmas carols, games and dance shows.
In separate messages yesterday, President Iajuddin Ahmed and Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed greeted the Christian community on the occasion.
The president in his message said the ideals of Jesus Christ of human welfare and glory of sacrifice have inspired people to follow the path of truth, welfare and peace.
Appreciating the contribution of the Christian community to education and social development, he hoped that concerted efforts by all the communities will continue for building a happy and prosperous Bangladesh.
In his message, the chief adviser said the teaching and ideals of Jesus Christ can show a bright path of peace in today's unstable world.
"All of us would have to be careful in maintaining the glorious history of communal harmony in the country. I hope the contribution of Christian community as well as other communities will be strengthened in future," he said.
Greeting all on the occasion, Archbishop Poulinus Costa, head of the Christian community in the country, urged people to extend help to the Sidr victims "who are passing inhuman lives out in the winter without food and clothes."
"It is not that we'll only do merriment during Christ's birthday celebration. We've some duties too," he said reminding all the sufferings of the victims of the Sidr and this year's floods.
Bangladesh Christian Association, Bangladesh Hindu-Buddhist-Christian Oikya Parishad and Bangladesh Chhatra Jubo Oikya Parishad also greeted the countrymen on the occasion.
Greeting the Christian community, political parties including Awami League, BNP and Bangladesh Workers' Party hoped peace and happiness will be established across the globe following the ideals of Jesus Christ.