As one of the widely visited countries in the Middle East, most people can expect Bahrain to be up on the list when it comes to tolerance and openness towards other religions. This is one of the reasons why Christmas is celebrated with great enthusiasm in Bahrain. Although the country is still very much Islamic, it welcomes everyone with open arms and has become a melting pot of different cultures and religions, especially during the holidays.
Christmas in Bahrain is much like a typical celebration of Christmas in the West. Many Christmas decorations and lights can be seen across the country. The streets are decorated with colorful lights, which makes Bahrain look like a winter wonderland. In addition, there are also many shopping centers that sell Christmas gifts and other items for people to enjoy during this festive season. In this guide, we will take a look at how Christmas is celebrated in Bahrain, what activities you can do during this time, and where to find the best places for a Christmas shopping spree.
- How do Residents in Bahrain Celebrate Christmas?
- Christmas Tree in Bahrain
- Where to Buy Christmas Decorations in Bahrain
- Christmas Sale in Bahrain: Autumn Fair 2022
- Video: HOLIDAY IN BAHRAIN || CHRISTMAS SPECIAL
- Frequently Asked Questions:
- Final Thoughts
How do Residents in Bahrain Celebrate Christmas?
Hundreds of Christians in Bahrain celebrated Christmas in a peaceful manner. They expressed their confidence that their lives and futures were not at risk due to the region’s volatility.
According to Alice Samaan, a member of the Shura Council, the Christians in Bahrain are enjoying the benefits of being in the country.
Over 80 Christian families live in the Kingdom of Bahrain. There are 16 churches in the country, including the oldest one in the Gulf. Three more churches are planning on opening in Manama.
At one point, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, criticized the actions of the US and Tony Blair, stating that they were endangering the futures and lives of Christians in the Middle East.
Despite the region’s volatility, the Christians in Bahrain are not afraid of any threats or attacks. According to lawyer and human rights activist, Ebrahim Zahi, the country’s government has taken measures to protect the rights of its citizens.
Shaikh Jaber Bin Mohammad Al Khalifa, a media specialist, noted that the Archbishop’s warning did not apply to Bahrain.
According to Shaikh Jaber, churches in Bahrain are more likely to have strong Muslim relationships than evangelical congregations in the US or Britain. He noted that he has sent his best wishes to the Christians in the country on Christmas Day.
Some Christians in the country had hoped that Christmas Day would be added to the official holiday list. However, Alice Samaan noted that it was impractical since the country is a Muslim nation.
Expatriate and Bahraini Christians can take the day off from work or come to work late through private companies.
Residents celebrate Christmas here by celebrating with their families, attending church services or celebrating with friends. Samaan said that there are no official celebrations for Christmas in Bahrain, and it is not a public holiday. However, she noted that Christians can celebrate it privately and openly. “Bahrain is a very tolerant society,” she said.
Christmas Tree in Bahrain
One of the first things people expect to see during Christmas season are Christmas trees. And insome places in the world, there’s even a lighting ceremony where the mayor or other local officials kick off the celebrations by flipping a switch. However, according to Samaan, Christmas trees are not a common sight in Bahrain. She said that there might be one or two small ones at malls or hotels, but they’re usually decorated with lights and not much else. Still, it’s worth knowing where these Christmas trees are and where to buy one if you’re thinking about bringing one home. Here is a shortlist of the places you can spot a Christmas tree in Bahrain:
The Avenues Mall, Manama
Shopping Malls in Seef and Juffair
Some hotels (Hyatt Regency)
The event, held at Le Meridien City Centre Bahrain on 1 December, was attended by the public for the first time. It featured a live piano performance and a rendition of Christmas songs by the Multinational School Bahrain choir.
Where to Buy Christmas Decorations in Bahrain
1. Seef Mall
The Seef Mall, Bahrain’s first mall, is a shopper’s paradise. The architecture, spacious corridors and number of global brands make it the place to fill up your bags while you relax in open spaces. There are more than 370 outlets, 55 restaurants and a leasable area of 72,000 square meters in this 35,000-square-meter mall, so there’s no doubt that you can find a plethora of Christmas items, whether gifts or the little decorations that you may want to fill your homes with.
2. Dragon Mall Bahrain
Featuring wholesale merchants and traders, the Dragon Mall in Bahrain is the largest shopping complex that houses more than 787 commercial units. The mall stands close to Bahrain International Airport and exhibits Chinese culture, featuring a blend of Chinese architecture and design. Whether you are a tourist or local, the mall has something for every visitor from hardware to electronics and more.
This is the perfect spot for your last-minute Christmas shopping or if you just want to browse the many options for your decor hauls, Dragon Mall is the place to be!
3. The Bahrain Mall
The Bahrain Mall is one of the best shopping spots for visitors in the country. It has every luxury and leisure you need, including a wide range of international brands, food courts and supermarkets. It’s no wonder shoppers will be spoilt for options this season, whether they’re looking for Christmas gifts or decors to spruce up their homes.
4. The Avenues Mall
The Avenues Mall in Bahrain is a great place to shop and enjoy the waterfront beauty and beaches in Bahrain. The mall opened in 2017, offering shoppers everything from leisure to luxury. With a lease area of approximately 40,000 sq meters, the mall has one floor with 130 stores. You can find brands for accessories, clothes, cosmetics and perfumes, electronics, fashion and footwear. So whether you’re thinking about shopping for a gift or planning to treat yourself, the Avenues Mall is the place to be. Of course, Christmas items like decors and ornaments are available here.
5. Marina Mall
Marina Mall offers families and tourists a chance to experience luxury and entertainment together. The Magic Island play zone, and cafes like Costa and Cellcom are just a few of the engaging factors of Marina Mall. Apart from shopping, Marina Mall is also ideal for family dining where the taste is too diverse with Italian, Chinese and Arabic cuisine. But of course, if a Christms brunch or dinner is underway, then the Marina Mall is a great place for families to enjoy. You can find Christmas pieces from retail shops like Forever 21, H&M, Uniqlo and many more – within the mall.
6. Bahrain City Center
Bahrain City Center, one of the largest malls in Bahrain, offers visitors a luxury shopping experience with more than 340 stores and the finest dining outlets. Located in Manama, it attracts more than 13.5 million visitors each year. With every amenity of your use, this is surely a one-stop-shopping hub offering everything you need. So whether it’s in or out of season, you can expect to find something for everyone, especially this holiday season.
7. The Lagoons Bahrain
The Lagoons Mall is an entertainment center where you will find every leisure and thrill. It’s not just a place to shop; the Lagoons offers many entertainment options, including a kids’ train, water splash park, food court, bike rentals and more. With ample parking at its location in Manama, Bahrain’s capital city, it’s easy to reach from every corner of the city. This accessibility makes it a good choice for last-minute Christmas shopping and sourcing your holiday ornaments, such as Christmas trees, Christmas lights and wreaths.
8. Oasis Mall
Oasis Mall is a popular shopping mall in Bahrain, housing 121 shops in an area of 58,800 square meters. You can find famous brands, such as Max or lifestyle Zara and more to fill up your bags with outfits you love at this popular shopping mall in Bahrain. If you’re on the hunt for Christmas decor, you can shop for trees, Christmas lights and wreaths here. This mall also houses a supermarket and food court for your convenience.
9. Moda Mall
The Moda Mall is another of Bahrain’s top luxury shopping destinations. Located in the Bahrain World Trade Centre and offering top-end brands from around the world, the mall has exquisite boutiques and top jewelry stores. But even if you’re not exactly into fashion, you’ll be spoilt for choice here for anything and everything you may need, including Christmas decor. The mall is also home to a supermarket and food court, making it easy for you to grab a quick bite or shop for groceries while you’re here.
10. Alosra Supermarket
Alosra is Arabic for ‘the family’, which is exactly what their stores and the people behind them are all about. They’re your local, friendly supermarket. And they offer a unique mix of local and international premium brands and quality foods.
During the pandemic, this store has made great efforts to provide the necessities of the people without compromising safety, and maximizing convenience, as well. So, if you’re looking for a place to pick up some groceries, Alosra is the perfect choice. They have everything you need: fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and poultry selections, dairy products—even an in-store bakery, Christmas hampers, and gifts.
Christmas Sale in Bahrain: Autumn Fair 2022
Don’t mistake the name, but this event will launch around Christmas in Bahrain.
Thousands of products from around the world are showcased at the Autumn Fair, a 9-day consumer fair. It features a variety of food and drink stalls, as well as new and old favorites.
Now in its 33rd edition, the Autumn Fair is Bahrain’s largest and most popular consumer products show. The fair showcases a wide array of merchandise from across the globe, ranging from specialty foods to textiles, and furnishings to electrical goods.
Catch the best of the best from all over the world for prices that will not break the bank in this big holiday event! Just don’t forget to register for the event before visiting.
Video: HOLIDAY IN BAHRAIN || CHRISTMAS SPECIAL
In the Kingdom of Bahrain, the national day is celebrated on December 16 and 17 each year. This year, the festivities are highlighted by fireworks and a lovely lighting display. The decorations and lighting somewhat carry over through the Christmas period, even though Christmas isn’t a public holiday in this Islamic country. Check out how this Pinoy family basked in the holidays during Christmas last 2021.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Does Bahrain celebrate Christmas?
Yes, Bahrain allows Christmas to be celebrated, though only in private. The majority of the population is Muslim, and the celebration of Christmas is not a public holiday in this country. However, Christians are allowed to celebrate their own religious holidays alongside other Bahrainis.
2. Is Christmas expensive in Bahrain?
No, Christmas is not an expensive holiday to celebrate in Bahrain since it is not considered a national holiday. Most of the traditional gifts are inexpensive and easily accessible at local shops and malls. As for food, you can still enjoy your favorite dishes without spending too much on them.
3. What can you do on Christmas in Bahrain?
You can do many activities on Christmas in Bahrain, such as visiting malls and markets for shopping. You can also take your family out for dinner or have a picnic at the beach with friends. If you’re adventurous, you can go camping or hiking to see the beauty of nature in this country.
4. What are some great gift ideas for Christmas in Bahrain?
If you want to give your loved ones a gift, you can find many options at the malls and markets. You can also purchase a few things online and have them delivered to your house in Bahrain. Some gift ideas to consider are:
– Food items such as candies, cookies, cakes and chocolates
– Clothes and accessories (like watches)
– Cosmetics (such as makeup or perfumes)
5. What are some traditional dishes that people eat during Christmas?
There are many local dishes available on Christmas in Bahrain, such as roasts, grilled chicken, shawarma and falafel.
Christmas is a wonderful time of year to celebrate with family and friends. Bahrain is a great place to spend the holiday season, with its unique blend of cultures and traditions. From the Christmas food offers to the festive decorations, there is something for everyone to enjoy. It is a time of giving and receiving, and a time to make memories that will last a lifetime. What are you looking forward to the most this Christmas in Bahrain?
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