City traffic takes a hit as Christmas fever reaches peak
By Aayan Ali
LAHORE: The countdown hype of Christmas reached full boom as throngs of shoppers flocked to the top shopping arcades of the city and traffic flow slowed to a snail’s pace. Parties held throughout Lahore saw cheery Christians and Muslims celebrating the event together.
The population of Lahore, swelling from people arriving from other parts of the country to celeberarte Christmas and attend weddings, resulted in traffic jams all over the city. Conditions worsened with the unexpected descent of thick fog. Shopping rush was notable at Main Boulevard Gulberg, MM Alam Road, Defence, around Mini Golf, Barkat Market, Link Road, Mall Road and Fortress Stadium while Pace, Panorama, Anarkali were jam-packed.
Restaurants, bakeries and card stalls were filled to the brim even late at night as diners and young Christian couples roamed the city determined to make best use of the national holiday on December 25 – the birthday of Quaid-e-Azam.
Adnan James, a computer programmer, told Daily Times that Christmas evoked warm memories while often viewed commercially, was about keeping traditions alive and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. “We go to churches and than spend the day collecting treats by singing carols. It is heart-warming to see the whole family gathered around the presents. We dress ourselves as Santa Claus and distribute sweets to children,” he said.
“I feel that Christmas is special for everyone, no matter what age they are. I, for one, always get butterflies in my stomachs. I am 22 years old but feel like a kid on Christmas Eve.” Meanwhile, the district government held a cake cutting ceremony for Christmas at Jinnah Hall. Farooq Amjad Mir, the district naib nazim, said that Christians in Pakistan were our brothers and it was the duty of the government to protect their rights.