The Tajikistani authorities have tightened restrictions on Christmas celebrations, banning gift-giving and Christmas trees in schools in the Central Asian republic.
The Ministry of Education issued a decree that prohibits “the use of fireworks, festive meals, gift-giving and raising money” for New Year festivities, as well as “the installation of a Christmas tree either living or artificial” in educational establishments.
While it is custom in most other ex-Soviet states for large Christmas trees to adorn central squares for the duration of the New Year’s holiday season, a tree will only appear briefly Tajikistan's capital Dushanbe before New Year and is expected to be swiftly removed early in 2016.
The New Year’s festive season is a source of contention in Tajikistan, which is a secular republic and has a majority Muslim population. The government has clamped down on New Year celebrations over recent years, notably banning Grandfather Frost (Ded Moroz), the Russian version of Father Christmas, from television in Tajikistan in 2013.
Source: Sky News