Christmas is a Christian holiday that is fairly popular throughout Indonesia where about 25 million people are Christian. In Indonesia, it is commonly referred to as Natal. It is celebrated on 25 December each year.
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Christmas was most likely introduced to Indonesia by Portuguese traders and later Dutch colonisers. After Indonesian independence in 1949, many Dutch influences remained in Indonesia. Indonesian Christians and the celebration of Christmas are some of the most obvious indicators of the Netherlands’ influence on Indonesian culture.
Christmas musical concerts in Indonesia often offer people the opportunity to hear Indonesian translations of Western songs. One of the most popular Indonesian Christmas songs is “Malam Kudus”. This is an Indonesian translation of “Silent Night”, a classic Christmas song in Europe and North America.
On 24 December, the Indonesian government hosts a large celebration. This Celebration consists of various live performances. Singing, dancing, and acting are common acts during the celebration’s main show. The Indonesian government spends a large amount of money on the National Christmas Celebration every year, so it often showcases some impressive performances. The celebration is always broadcast to the public on Indonesian state-run TV.
Many Indonesian Christians attend a church service on Christmas Day. Roman Catholics often attend a mass during the night of Christmas Eve. During these worship services, Christians often read verses from the Bible and sing hymns. Some of the most popular Bible verses come from Isaiah, Luke, and Matthew. At these worship services, children also perform reenactments of the Biblical Nativity.