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Christmas around the world in photos

By: - City Desk Editor / @DLejanoINQ
/ 02:01 PM December 19, 2014

MANILA, Philippines — The traditional Simbang Gabi, or evening masses leading to Christmas Eve, has begun in the Philippines. But have you ever wondered how Christmas is being celebrated around the world? INQUIRER.net has compiled pictures of Christmas traditions, festivities and happenings from different corners of the globe more than a week before the world celebrates one of its most joyful holidays.

1. Manila, Philippines

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Filipinos attend the first of nine dawn masses signalling the official start of the Christmas at a Roman Catholic Church in Manila on December 16, 2014. The tradition of dawn masses dates back to the Spanish era, which culminates on Christmas Eve and it is a belief that anyone who completes the chain will have his wish granted.   AFP

Filipinos attend the first of nine dawn masses signalling the official start of the Christmas at a Roman Catholic Church in Manila on December 16, 2014. The tradition of dawn masses dates back to the Spanish era, which culminates on Christmas Eve and it is a belief that anyone who completes the chain will have his wish granted. AFP

2. Seoul, South Korea

Dressed in Santa Claus outfits, divers perform with sardines as a part of event to celebrate the upcoming Christmas at the Coex Aquarium in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014. AP

Dressed in Santa Claus outfits, divers perform with sardines as a part of event to celebrate the upcoming Christmas at the Coex Aquarium in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014. AP

3. Washington, USA

First lady Michelle Obama reads “Twas the night before Christmas” to patients, families, and staff at Children’s National Health System in Washington, Monday, Dec. 15, 2014. AP

First lady Michelle Obama reads “Twas the night before Christmas” to patients, families, and staff at Children’s National Health System in Washington, Monday, Dec. 15, 2014. AP

4. Nice, France

People go swimming during the traditional Christmas bath in the Mediterranean sea at Cagnes sur Mer, near Nice, southeastern France, Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014.  Around 350 swimmers take part in the annual swim. AP

People go swimming during the traditional Christmas bath in the Mediterranean sea at Cagnes sur Mer, near Nice, southeastern France, Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014. Around 350 swimmers take part in the annual swim. AP

5. Tokyo, Japan

In this Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014 photo, visitors walk through Christmas lights at Tokyo Dome City in Tokyo.  AP

In this Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014 photo, visitors walk through Christmas lights at Tokyo Dome City in Tokyo. AP

6. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Muslim women pose for selfie in front of Christmas decorations at a shopping mall in Malaysia Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014. Shopping malls in Muslim-dominated Malaysia have been decorated with Christmas trees, lights and Santa Claus to attract year-end shoppers. AP

Muslim women pose for selfie in front of Christmas decorations at a shopping mall in Malaysia Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014. Shopping malls in Muslim-dominated Malaysia have been decorated with Christmas trees, lights and Santa Claus to attract year-end shoppers. AP

7. Moscow, Russia

Municipal workers walk along a fence surrounding a Christmas market at Red Square with St. Basil's Cathedral in the background in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014.  AP

Municipal workers walk along a fence surrounding a Christmas market at Red Square with St. Basil’s Cathedral in the background in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014. AP

8. Byblos, Lebanon

A Christmas tree is erected in the Lebanese historical coastal city of Byblos on December 15, 2014. The 30-metre-tall Christmas tree made from gold-coloured iron leaves was featured worldwide as part of an exhibition of the world's most beautiful Christmas trees. AFP

A Christmas tree is erected in the Lebanese historical coastal city of Byblos on December 15, 2014. The 30-metre-tall Christmas tree made from gold-coloured iron leaves was featured worldwide as part of an exhibition of the world’s most beautiful Christmas trees. AFP

9. Medellin, Colombia

In this Monday, Dec. 1, 2014 photo, Christmas lights adorn a building on the banks of the Medellin river, in Medellin, Colombia. The city once wracked by drug violence has undergone massive social and economic transformation, and it’s now known in tourist circles for spectacular Christmas light displays that veil churches, buildings, parks and even the Medellin River with glittering cascades of color. AP

In this Monday, Dec. 1, 2014 photo, Christmas lights adorn a building on the banks of the Medellin river, in Medellin, Colombia. The city once wracked by drug violence has undergone massive social and economic transformation, and it’s now known in tourist circles for spectacular Christmas light displays that veil churches, buildings, parks and even the Medellin River with glittering cascades of color. AP

10. Mazar-e Sharif, Afghanistan

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German soldiers serve mulled wine at a Christmas Market in Camp Marmal in Mazar-e Sharif on December 13, 2014.  AFP

German soldiers serve mulled wine at a Christmas Market in Camp Marmal in Mazar-e Sharif on December 13, 2014. AFP

11. Alaska, USA

This photo taken Dec. 6, 2014, shows Christmas toys and other supplies being loaded from a C130 military transport plane onto sleds being pulled by snowmobiles in Shishmaref, Alaska. The Alaska National Guard provided transport for the good Samaritan program Operation Santa, which took gifts and schools supplies to about 300 children in the Inupiat Eskimo community. AP

This photo taken Dec. 6, 2014, shows Christmas toys and other supplies being loaded from a C130 military transport plane onto sleds being pulled by snowmobiles in Shishmaref, Alaska. The Alaska National Guard provided transport for the good Samaritan program Operation Santa, which took gifts and schools supplies to about 300 children in the Inupiat Eskimo community. AP

12. Vilnius, Lithuania

The National Christmas tree at Cathedral  Square in Vilnius, Lithuania, Tuesday, Dec.  2, 2014.  AP

The National Christmas tree at Cathedral Square in Vilnius, Lithuania, Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014. AP

13.  Jakarta, Indonesia

Worshippers take part in a Christmas service at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia, Saturday, Dec 13, 2014. AP

Worshippers take part in a Christmas service at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia, Saturday, Dec 13, 2014. AP

14. Antwerp, Belgium

A stuffed polar bear overlooks a skating rink on the Christmas market in Antwerp, Belgium on Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014. AP

A stuffed polar bear overlooks a skating rink on the Christmas market in Antwerp, Belgium on Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014. AP

15. New York, USA

Queen Of Christmas, Mariah Carey performs her holiday smash hits at the Beacon Theatre on December 15, 2014 in New York City.  AP

Queen Of Christmas, Mariah Carey performs her holiday smash hits at the Beacon Theatre on December 15, 2014 in New York City. AFP

16. London, United Kingdom

A child looks at a statue of the Paddington bear, outside British Prime Minister David Cameron's official residence at 10 Downing Street, in central London, as children and their families arrive for the charity Christmas party, Monday, Dec. 15, 2014.

A child looks at a statue of the Paddington bear, outside British Prime Minister David Cameron’s official residence at 10 Downing Street, in central London, as children and their families arrive for the charity Christmas party, Monday, Dec. 15, 2014.

17. Rome, Italy

Sister Cristina Scuccia performs during a Christmas concert in Rome, Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014.

The Voice of Italy winner Sister Cristina Scuccia performs during a Christmas concert in Rome, Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014.

18. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Fireworks explode over the floating Christmas tree in Lagoa lake at the annual holiday tree lighting event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014. AP

Fireworks explode over the floating Christmas tree in Lagoa lake at the annual holiday tree lighting event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014. AP

19. Hamburg, Germany

A Kamchatka brown bear   tries to reach an apple on a  Christmas tree decorated with fruit and vegetables  in  the enclosure  at the Hagenbeck zoo in Hamburg, northern Germany, Friday  Dec. 5, 2014. AP

A Kamchatka brown bear tries to reach an apple on a Christmas tree decorated with fruit and vegetables in the enclosure at the Hagenbeck zoo in Hamburg, northern Germany, Friday Dec. 5, 2014. AP

20. Georgia, USA

Packages are sorted on a conveyer belt before being loaded onto trucks for delivery at a FedEx facility, Monday, Dec. 15, 2014, in Marietta, Ga. With just ten days until Christmas, the delivery service is expecting a spike of packages as customers rush to get deliveries before the holiday. AP

Packages are sorted on a conveyer belt before being loaded onto trucks for delivery at a FedEx facility, Monday, Dec. 15, 2014, in Marietta, Ga. With just ten days until Christmas, the delivery service is expecting a spike of packages as customers rush to get deliveries before the holiday. AP

21. Bethlehem, Palestine

Christian Palestinians launch fireworks to celebrate the lighting of a Christmas tree at Manger Square, outside the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014.

Christian Palestinians launch fireworks to celebrate the lighting of a Christmas tree at Manger Square, outside the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014. AP

22. Amsterdam, Netherlands

A cake reads Joyeux Noel or Merry Christmas in an arrangement of a 19th century Christmas dining table at Willet-Holthuysen Museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014. The museum give the visitors a look into a 19th century fully furnished patrician house on Herengracht canal. AP

A cake reads Joyeux Noel or Merry Christmas in an arrangement of a 19th century Christmas dining table at Willet-Holthuysen Museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014. The museum give the visitors a look into a 19th century fully furnished patrician house on Herengracht canal. AP

23. Kiev, Ukraine

Workers decorate a New Year tree, in front of the St. Sophia Cathedral in central Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, Dec. 15, 2014. New Year is widely celebrated as the most popular holiday in Ukraine with the Orhodox Christmas being celebrated on Jan. 7. AP

Workers decorate a New Year tree, in front of the St. Sophia Cathedral in central Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, Dec. 15, 2014. New Year is widely celebrated as the most popular holiday in Ukraine with the Orhodox Christmas being celebrated on Jan. 7. AP

24. Utah, USA

In this photo taken on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014, more than 1,000 participants gather at Rock Canyon Park in Provo, Utah, in an attempt to set a world record for the largest recreation of a live Nativity scene. AP

In this photo taken on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014, more than 1,000 participants gather at Rock Canyon Park in Provo, Utah, in an attempt to set a world record for the largest recreation of a live Nativity scene. AP

25.  Madrid, Spain

A woman holds her baby as they ride on a carrousel at Madrid's Christmas market in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014. AP

A woman holds her baby as they ride on a carrousel at Madrid’s Christmas market in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014. AP

26.Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernandez, center, and his wife, Ana Garcia Carias, second from left, release white doves with other unidentified people during a march with thousands of people participating, in downtown Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014. The government organized march calling for a peaceful Christmas. Plagued by gang violence, Honduras has one of the highest murder rates in the western hemisphere. AP

Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernandez, center, and his wife, Ana Garcia Carias, second from left, release white doves with other unidentified people during a march with thousands of people participating, in downtown Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014. The government organized march calling for a peaceful Christmas. Plagued by gang violence, Honduras has one of the highest murder rates in the western hemisphere. AP

27. Geneva, Switzerland

Participants of the 76th edition of the annual Christmas swimming "Coupe de Noel" enjoy swimming in  Lake of Geneva, in Geneva, Switzerland, Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014. More than 1500 men and women swam the 120 meters at the traditional Christmas swimming in Geneva. AP

Participants of the 76th edition of the annual Christmas swimming “Coupe de Noel” enjoy swimming in Lake of Geneva, in Geneva, Switzerland, Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014. More than 1500 men and women swam the 120 meters at the traditional Christmas swimming in Geneva. AP

28. Karlsruhe, Germany

High wire performer Falko Traber poses as the "Flying Santa" on his motorcycle shaped like a reindeer sleigh above the Christmas Market in Karlsruhe, Germany, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014.  AP

High wire performer Falko Traber poses as the “Flying Santa” on his motorcycle shaped like a reindeer sleigh above the Christmas Market in Karlsruhe, Germany, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. AP

29. Manila, Philippines

A street sweeper dressed as a robot Santa Claus cleans a street in Manila on December 18, 2014. The Philippines is the largest Christian country in Asia and has one of the longest Christmas seasons in the world, lasting from December 16 to January 6. AFP

A street sweeper dressed as a robot Santa Claus cleans a street in Manila on December 18, 2014. The Philippines is the largest Christian country in Asia and has one of the longest Christmas seasons in the world, lasting from December 16 to January 6. AFP

30. Lagos, Nigeria

A Christmas tree made of beer bottles stands in Lagos on December 17, 2014. Nigeria's first indigenous beer brand, Star Lager, has completed the building of the world's largest bottle tree made with a total of 8,000 Star Lager bottles.  AFP

A Christmas tree made of beer bottles stands in Lagos on December 17, 2014. Nigeria’s first indigenous beer brand, Star Lager, has completed the building of the world’s largest bottle tree made with a total of 8,000 Star Lager bottles. AFP

31. Guatemala City, Guatemala

Ricardo Contreras, dressed as Santa Claus, hugs a woman as he visits sick children at the San Juan de Dios hospital in Guatemala City, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Contreras is a volunteer who, along with other hospital's workers, gives out Christmas gifts to sick children every year. AP

Ricardo Contreras, dressed as Santa Claus, hugs a woman as he visits sick children at the San Juan de Dios hospital in Guatemala City, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Contreras is a volunteer who, along with other hospital’s workers, gives out Christmas gifts to sick children every year. AP

32. Paris, France

People skate on the ice rink hosted on the Eiffel Tower's first floor on December 15, 2014 in Paris. AFP

People skate on the ice rink hosted on the Eiffel Tower’s first floor on December 15, 2014 in Paris. AFP

33. Texas, USA

U.S. Air Force Sgt. Jose Hernandez surprizes his son Isaiah after waiting in a card board box adorned with wrapping paper Thursday morning, Dec. 18, 2014, at R.L. Martin Elementary in Brownsville, Texas. Hernandez returned early from a tour in South Korea to spend Christmas with his family. AP

US Air Force Sgt. Jose Hernandez surprises his son Isaiah after waiting in a card board box adorned with wrapping paper Thursday morning, Dec. 18, 2014, at R.L. Martin Elementary in Brownsville, Texas. Hernandez returned early from a tour in South Korea to spend Christmas with his family. AP

34. Yokohama, Japan

A white beluga wears a Santa hat to attract visitors at the Hakkeijima Sea Paradise aquarium in Yokohama, suburban Tokyo on December 17, 2014. Christmas attractions will be held till Christmas Day.  AFP

A white beluga wears a Santa hat to attract visitors at the Hakkeijima Sea Paradise aquarium in Yokohama, suburban Tokyo on December 17, 2014. Christmas attractions will be held till Christmas Day. AFP

Originally posted December 16th, 2014, 6:16 pm

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TAGS: Christmas 2014, Culture, Global Nation, Paskong pinoy, tradition
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