Wednesday, 26 December 2012

In pictures: Christmas around the world

Pilar Olivares/REUTERS
The world's largest floating Christmas tree in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil stands at 280 feet and weighs 542 tons.

The annual "Santacon" is a Christmas parade that traditionally takes place in London every December, inviting hundreds of revellers dressed in Santa outfits to Trafalgar Square.

Khin Maung Win/AP
Myanmar Christians attend a Christmas Mass at the Saint Mary Cathedral in Yangon.

The Crans-Montana Skiing Resort in Western Switzerland receives a lot of tourists during the holiday season.

Indonesia has increased security for Christmas and New Year holidays with hundreds attending prayers at the Cathedral Church in Makassar in the South Sulawesi province of the country.

Indian Christians, who form only a little more than two percent of the billion-plus population, gather at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in New Delhi.

Christians also comprise around two percent of Pakistan's population, with many filling the pews of the Fatima Church in Islamabad for Christmas mass.

Rick Rycroft/AP
British tourists strip off and celebrate Christmas Day at Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia.

Russians gather outside Moscow's cathedral of the Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception to attend a carol service, despite freezing temperatures of -21C.

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree tradition in New York in 1931. The tree will be later turned into lumber for Habitat for Humanity, an US non-governmental organisation.

NATO soldiers stationed in Afghanisatan take their Christmas feast at a staff canteen in Kabul.

Traditional lanterns light up in front of a church near the city of Taiyuan in China's Shanxi province.

Iraqi Christians gather around a fire to celebrate Christmas in a church in Hamdaniya town in northwest Baghdad.

Abed Al Hashlamoun/AP
Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem holds a representation of the Baby Jesus as he and clergy arrive to pray at the Grotto, traditionally believed by Christians to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ, at the Church of the Nativity, in the occupied West Bank town of Bethlehem.

Pope Benedict XVI leads the Christmas night mass in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican.


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