Do you think Christmas is important in a multicultural city?

For many of those who don’t celebrate Christmas, the 25th  December is just an ordinary day. With over 8% of the population non-celebrators of this Christian festival, we asked people in Cardiff whether it was time to rethink the importance of Christmas in the UK.

A snack bar in Cardiff with Christmas decoration (Photo by Yingqi Chen)

Christmas is just one of many religious festivals celebrated in the UK. For Christians, it is about the coming together for the birth of Christ.

Christmas festivities however have been long-since adopted by non-Christians as a time to relax, give presents and spend time with family. According to statistics from the Bank of England, a typical household spends over £800 more in monthly expenses during December. 

With so much attention on this one annual event, we took to the streets of Cardiff to find out how important people felt it was in the UK.

Hailah Saleh, 28, postgraduate student

Hailah Saleh (Photo by Hengyu Zhou)

“Because I’m Muslim, there’s a bit of pressure to deal with at Christmas time, but I don’t experience it myself. It’s beautiful to see people happy and celebrating. There’s good street food and the Christmas shops are really beautiful. It is a good time here.”

Esther Hou, 33, sonographer

Esther Hou (Photo by Esther Hou)

“Christmas is not only a festive time, but also a day which reminds us of the birth of Jesus Christ. But personally I do celebrate certain Chinese traditional festivals as this is the culture I grew up with.”

Alisha Keane, 22, retail worker

Alisha Keane (Photo by Scarlet Charles)

‘While it’s my favourite time of the year, I don’t, like a lot of others, celebrate it for what it’s supposed to be, the actual religious part of it. And other holidays from other religions that people celebrate for good reasons get pushed aside.’

Sanjay, temple facilitator

Sanjay (Photo by Adishri Chengappa)

‘‘I agree we need to rethink the meaning of Christmas. During the pandemic there’s definitely been a double standard: the churches were open while the temples had a lot of restrictions that affected the mental health of senior citizens.’’

Joel Raju, 24, student

Joel Raju (Photo by Hengyu Zhou)

“Christmas has a lot of importance for British people. In India, there’s a big difference, especially the students like us, who have come from other countries. As long as we have the mosque and we have COVID safety measures, I don’t mind the government being more lenient at Christmas.”

Eleri Burman, 17, student

Eleri Burman (Photo by Hengyu Zhou)

“I think we should all be considerate and thankful for being together as a family and community especially during this Pandemic. Everyone should be educated in other cultures to have a better understanding of other people’s beliefs and celebrations.”