Uzbekistan bans Christmas

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Uzbekistan has reportedly banned Christmas by keeping the local version of Santa Claus off the airwaves.

Independent news website UzMetronom reported yesterday that president Islam Karimov’s authoritarian government imposed the informal ban on Father Frost and his snow maiden sidekick. The characters have been regular fixtures for decades across the former Soviet world over the holiday season.

Mr Karimov has been eager to eliminate Soviet culture from the country and Uzbekistan has proven hostile to other holidays deemed insufficiently native. In February, authorities cancelled concerts for Valentine’s Day and instead organised readings of poems by medieval Mughal emperor Babur.