First time I actually wrote “How I made that fancy Christmas banner” in the title. But later I edited it because this post is not a tutorial on how to do it. It’s rather a write-up of what made me think of designing such a header despite the fact that I’m not a Christian.

The Impact of Religious Festivals

I always love festivals. In Bangladesh, we have mainly two festivals that are largely celebrated. One is Eid-ul-Fitr and the other one is Pohela Boishakh (Bengali New Year). There are two Eids in a year, though. But the second Eid, known as Eid-ul-Adha, is not as much enjoyable as the Eid-ul-Fitr. The reason maybe because Eid-ul-Fitr comes 9 months after Eid-ul-Adha where Eid-ul-Adha comes only 2 months and 10 days after Eid-ul-Fitr. Plus, the month of Ramadan, when we fast from dawn to dusk, comes prior to Eid-ul-Fitr which actually makes this Eid much more pleasurable and joyous.

However, in the rest of the world, the most celebrated festival in a year is Christmas, of which no one should have any question. Christmas isn’t that much celebrated in Bangladesh. It is still celebrated among the Christian people in Bangladesh. They celebrate it at their best. But we don’t really feel it because Bangladesh is a country where majority of people follow Islam. So, the largest religious festival of Islam, Eid-ul-Fitr, impacts on the lifestyle of the whole country for at least a week. On the other hand, other religious festivals such as Durga Puja, Christmas, etc are not as widely celebrated as the Eids and do not have any countrywide impact (Exception: Durga Puja).

In fact, that’s why Christmas does not have any particularly viewable impact on this country.

So, How Come?

Yes, then the question comes why I bothered to change the header image to something that represents the Christmas. No, it’s not because this blog is targeted at people from the other countries. It’s rather because any, or some, of the following:

  • I watch too many movies. Yes, that may be the reason why I find Christmas fascinating. I’m a movie freak, and I’ve watched numerous movies where they show a pre-Christmas picture of the country. Like I already said, I love festivals and anything festive. So, that festive image of the country got in my mind.
  • Tom & Jerry has Christmas-themed cartoons. Yes, undoubtedly the most popular cartoon characters are Tom and Jerry. I remember a couple of episodes I watched on Cartoon Network where they are hiding, seeking, getting squashed, getting cut into 8 pieces, getting the size of a box and all those things in a Christmas eve. That must have gotten in my mind as well.
  • The Penguins of Madagascar have a Christmas episode. Anybody who ever watched the movie Madagascar must have fallen in love with all those ‘cute and cuddly’ penguins. Cropping out of the movie, some television channel actually kept making a series of episodes called The Penguins of Madagascar. I have watched a special episode of the series called “The Penguins of Madagascar in a Christmas Caper. I actually loved it!

Well, there may be more but I’m getting tired of these. So, let’s move on to something else.

How I made it

I’m no good at designing. I just don’t have the creativity needed to come up with a design that makes anyone say ‘wow’. 😦 But when I decided that I’ll create a Christmas-themed header image for my blog, I decided it to be a scene where a Christmas tree is shown with some lighting through a cable. I further decided that the lighting will change and for that I’ll have to animate the image.

Since I’m not a good designer, I had to look for images on the Internet. I came up with a number of images that were really difficult for me to put together and end up with a header that is live now. It took me less than an hour, but taught me more ways of working with Photoshop and creating an animated gif. I’m grateful to that.

On the Internet, I found out that picture of Tom & Jerry with a Christmas tree and liked it immediately. But it wasn’t easy to get them here. The picture was of them inside a room. So I had to get rid of the room to place them on the black background. When I put the white surface and placed Tom & Jerry on top of it, the black background was attached to it. So, I had to work further in 200% zoom to remove the dark area from the down side of the two. Then it started looking like they are standing on the white surface.

I actually wanted Tom & Jerry and the Christmas tree to be on the right side. But the source file had Tom’s right ear cut 0ff. So I had to place him on the left side. Additionally, spreading out the cable and the lights was more work to do. Finally, I succeeded in designing exactly what I wanted. 🙂

If you want to know how I did it technically, you should be staying in touch with me. 😀 You can subscribe to my blog for email updates or you can follow my blog if you’re a WordPress.com user. Please also note that I’ll not write any post entitling “How to….”. Rather, I’ll tell you in a post irrelevant to the matter (as a gift to those who actually read my blog 🙂 ).

Have Your Say

Tell me just how much you like the new header image. 😉 That’ll be enough for me. 😀

Written by A. I. Sajib

I love writing about technology, life, and everything between. I love photographing people. I'm a Happiness Engineer at Automattic/WordPress.com. The best way to get to know more about me is through my blog at http://ais.blog

15 comments

  1. Cool animated banner. I think there no issues of a non-christian celebrating Christmas. For one, Christmas is everyone. Although it’s a sad reality that Christmas is viewed as no more than a warm festive party. Well, Christmas is a commemoration of Jesus Christ but most Christians or other people celebrate with something different in mind.

    One example is in the case of children. They look forward to see Santa Claus and not Jesus Christ.

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  2. Your header is really inspirational! Maybe I’m going to try something like this also for Christmas month.

    I loooooooove Christmas sooo much. And my best memories come from the Christmas times. Of course in my childhood my Christmas was the best. We always had big tree and my father used to play Santa. Haha. He was always disappearing to toilet while Santa came. Later I realized that HE was the Santa. I miss those times. The candy bags, gifts under the tree, having a snow-war, making snowman, Christmas decorations…. hummm like everything.

    It’s my second Christmas in Bangladesh now and I’m still trying to do something. Maybe this year my husband will bring me a tree which looks like Christmas tree and we’re going to put the lights- it makes the room so cozy that I would keep them all year round. If I’m not too lazy I could even cut out some paper snowflakes. 🙂

    Another thing I love are mandarins, chocolates and candies… what could be a better excuse than Christmas, to eat them. 🙂

    PS! Tom and Yerry is my favorite cartoon of all times! I used to record every episode in Estonia on DVD and then watch them all day long.

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    1. Yes, I know how festive it is when Christmas arrives every year. I think it surpasses the festivity of Eid season here in Bangladesh. What do you say about that? You have experience of both the seasons. I have only seen Christmases on screens. 😦 I would definitely love to celebrate a Christmas somewhere abroad. 😀

      I bought a couple of CDs where they dubbed it into Bangla. Those were funny as well. I think nothing can beat this wonderful creation. Did you notice recently new cartoons have been made? Tune in to Cartoon Network and you’ll see bright-printed Tom & Jerry (where everybody else except for Tom & Jerry speaks). They are way funnier than the previous episodes.

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      1. Christmas and Christmas holiday are big deals. Like people buy even Christmas calenders which you start to open from first December and eat chocolate from there. It was one of my favorite traditions. Then all month “dwarfs” are going to put every morning some gift into your Christmas sock on the window. Even my girlfriend who is not same age like me, is still writing letter to Santa, what she wants to get for Christmas, lol. She knows the Santa will be her mommy but It’s like something fun and brings little bit magic into your life. Although some people are celebrating Christmas to just have so many gifts and blabla, which is not the real meaning of it anyway. They run whole month also Christmas songs in the malls and shops. All city will be decorated and huhh, as I’m a dreamer and I love to live in a fantasy world, it’s a perfect time for me. So December is kinda like Ramadan month, like whole month you have that feeling of the tradition or celebration in your heart and then comes the Eid, and at the end of December, Christmas, so it’s kind of similar in that way. Like in Christmas eve we also wear our best dresses and cook lots of food. What I loved about Ramadan was that every evening we were eating all together with family. I love traditions which bring people together and make them think more about each other, without all those negative and egoistic feelings what people usually have.

        My daughter likes to watch Chota Beem on Pogo so I don’t get much chance to watch CN bt I’ll try:)

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        1. Thanks for your comment. The description matches exactly what I thought that people feel for Christmas. And you perfectly said that December is like Ramadan for people. That totally makes it easy for most Bangladeshis to understand how much festivity it has in other parts of the world.

          I think you should let her watch CN, too, because it has some nice cartoons. At least, she should watch Tom & Jerry, the legend of cartoon network. 😀

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  3. Great post Sajib bhai! I love Christmas of course but I love Eid too! It Eid ul fitr is one of my favourite times of the year. Christmas can be celebrated by Muslims quite easily as it focuses on the birth of Jesus and the Quran talks of this and venerates it. There are disagreements in emphasis, of course, but the general celebration of his life is something Christians and Muslims can share without contradiction.

    In terms of just the cultural aspect, I think all religious festivals are so important and I am proud to be part of a country that celebrates and gives honour to festivals of all faiths. The UK could learn a lot from this. Bangladesh has taught me much about tolerance and peace towards ALL people whatever their faith – just what the message the Christmas is all about! Merry Christmas and thanks for a heart-warming post (oh and I LOVE the header image!) 🙂

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Ken. 🙂 And Merry Christmas to you, too!

      The thing is, in Bangladesh, many muslims, especially the elderly ones would actually blame me for even writing this post and decorating my blog for this occasion.

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      1. Yes I can imagine. This is a shame as it has more to do with prejudice than Islam. Only as we all work together can we make the world a better place – Jesus knew that and so did Muhammad (PBUH). For my part, I am blessed by your willingness to push boundaries in the name of peace and challenged to do likewise.

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        1. Thanks. 🙂 I find nothing wrong here to celebrate Christmas from a ‘festival’ point of view since it doesn’t have anything wrong to do with Islam and our beliefs. Even there are debates whether 25th of December really is the birthday of Jesus. And these days, it doesn’t look like many people celebrate it from a “Jesus’ birthday” aspect. They rather enjoy it as the final celebration of the year making it a huge one.

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          1. Actually 25th December isn’t the ‘real’ date – that is unknown. The date was taken over by the Church in the UK when they took over Pagan festivals. Christmas took over ‘Yule’. The Christmas tree has nothing to do with Christianity but is actually a pagan symbol.
            Many people DO celebrate it as the birth of Jesus – its just that the worldwide media likes to pretend that no one believes in any kind of God any longer and plays it down. I used to get angry about this but these days I think that ANY way we can promote goodwill and peace amongst us all is a good thing – be it Christmas, Eid, or whatever. Again, you Bangladeshi are WAY ahead if us in this way…

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