Christmas Day is finally here, with families across Huddersfield coming together for presents, food and festivities.

But with many people of different religions living in Kirklees, not everyone will be celebrating the festive period in the same way.

We talked to leaders of different faiths to see what their members will be doing on December 25 when everything shuts down and on New Year’s Day.

According to the latest Census, a total of 61,280 Muslims live in the area, representing 14.5 per cent of our population.

A spokesman for the Islamic Cultural Welfare Association, based in Batley, said: “Because everyone will be off work we have our general meetings on Christmas Day.

“But our other members do all sorts of things as it’s just a normal day for us. Some stay in their own homes and a lot come to the mosques.

“If we have Christian friends we give them presents and send cards.”

Fatihul Haq, president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, with visitors to the mosque.
Fatihul Haq, president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, with visitors to the mosque.

Ahmadiyya Muslims, a smaller denomination within Islam, dedicate the period to volunteering.

“On Christmas Day we will be giving food to homeless people at the Methodist Mission on Lord Street, to asylum seekers and will be visiting elderly people”, said Fatihul Haq, president of Ahmadiyya Muslim Association Huddersfield.

“Volunteering is a big thing for us at this time as Islam instructs us that we should serve human kind wherever possible, it’s love for all, hatred for none.”

Our 3,330 Sikhs will combine their own celebrations with some elements of Christmas.

Jag Bhullar, general secretary of the Guru Nanak Gurdwara Sikh Temple in Springwood, said: “We hold our own celebrations and try combine them with Christmas.

Sikh Temple, Huddersfield.

“We can expect up to 500 people at the temple on both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, when we read prayers and scriptures.

“Sikhism is a very open religion so our children get involved in Christmas activities at home. They have Santa and get presents and we send Christmas cards.

“We have a big meal called langar, which is a vegetarian meal served to everyone at the temple. People of all ages volunteer, called sangat, to help make the meal.

“We celebrate New Year’s Eve with fireworks.”

Kiran Bali speaks at women's conference at the United Nations headquarters, New York

Kiran Bali, is the leader of Huddersfield’s Hindu community, which numbers of 1,540 people.

“The Nativity message of hope and renewal of faith is rooted to my journey of elevating the soul. Christmas is a time for spiritual reflection and the strengthening of my relationship with the divine.

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“On Christmas day, I visit the Church and the Temple to perform prayers for all those who are suffering in this world. I share a community vegetarian meal, underlining goodwill and respect to all living beings.

“Through service to others on this day, I feel we can further the values of grace and generosity.”