Thousands of Christians marked Christmas in Qatar last night by attending early services at the Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Rosary, with many more planning to turn up for mass today.
According to photographer Lance Cenar, who snapped these photos last night, the crowd was so large for the Filipino service, that mass had to be held outside (despite the chilly weather). Many other services were standing room only.
Security was tight at the entrance of the church, which opened in 2008, and residents had to pass through metal detectors to get through to services.
Schools have been out for break for a week now, and some are reporting that the roads and offices have been extra-quiet today as residents take time off to celebrate the holiday.
Christmas is not an official holiday in Qatar, but many retailers and residents have dressed up their shops and homes for the occasion, and residents of all backgrounds have been wishing each other a Merry Christmas today.
For those looking for something special to do, check out the church’s mass schedule here. The newly open Anglican church will also be holding a Christmas service at 7:30pm tonight.
Marhaba, ILoveQatar and JustHere have also compiled lists of what’s on offer during the holiday at the nation’s many five-star hotels.
Are you celebrating Christmas today? What are your plans?