Christmas around the world 2013Loading
  • Vatican Pope Christmas
    In this picture provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis delivers his "Urbi et Orbi" (to the City and to the World) message from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013. Pope Francis on Christmas day is wishing for a better world, with peace for the land of Jesus' birth, for Syria and Africa as well as for the dignity of migrants and refugees fleeing misery and conflict. Francis spoke from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica Wednesday to tens of thousands of tourists, pilgrims and Romans in the square below. He said he was joining in the song of Christmas angels with all those hoping "for a better world," and with those who "care for others, humbly."
    AP
  • Vatican Pope Christmas
    Swiss guards stand at attention prior to the start of Pope Francis "Urbi et Orbi" (to the City and to the World) message he delivered from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013. Pope Francis on Christmas day is wishing for a better world, with peace for the land of Jesus' birth, for Syria and Africa as well as for the dignity of migrants and refugees fleeing misery and conflict. Francis spoke from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica Wednesday to tens of thousands of tourists, pilgrims and Romans in the square below. He said he was joining in the song of Christmas angels with all those hoping "for a better world," and with those who "care for others, humbly."
    Gregorio Borgia | AP
  • Mideast Syria Christmas
    Christians celebrate Christmas during a party held at the Dama Rose hotel in Damascus, Syria on Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013. Pope Francis' Christmas message, delivered on Wednesday in Italian from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, addressed the Syrian conflict: "Too many lives have been shattered in recent times by the conflict in Syria, fueling hatred and vengeance. Let us continue to ask the Lord to spare the beloved Syrian people further suffering, and to enable the parties in conflict to put an end to all violence and guarantee access to humanitarian aid. We have seen how powerful prayer is! And I am happy today too, that the followers of different religious confessions are joining us in our prayer for peace in Syria. Let us never lose the courage of prayer! The courage to say: Lord, grant your peace to Syria and to the whole world."
    Uncredited | AP
  • Afghanistan Christmas
    Soldiers from the NATO- led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) eat Christmas dinner at their base in Ghazni province south of Afghanistan, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013.
    Rahmat Gul | AP
  • APTOPIX India Christmas
    A Christian man prays during Christmas mass in a church in Gauhati, India, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013. Although Christians comprise only two percent of the population among a Hindu majority, the holiday is observed across the country as an occasion to celebrate.
    Anupam Nath | AP
  • APTOPIX Mideast Jordan Christmas
    An Iraqi Orthodox Christian refugee attends a morning Christmas mass at the Saint Afram Syrian Orthodox Church in Amman, Jordan, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013. Syrian and Iraqi Orthodox Christian families attended morning mass of Christmas and pray for peace in their countries.
    Mohammad Hannon | AP
  • APTOPIX Mideast Palestinians Daily Life
    Palestinian children play in front of their house in Jabalya refugee camp northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013. Israeli air and ground forces launched a series of attacks Tuesday on targets across the Gaza Strip, killing a young girl and wounding several others in response to the deadly shooting of an Israeli civilian by a Palestinian sniper.
    Khalil Hamra | AP
  • APTOPIX Illinois Daily Life Wintry Weather
    Snow-covered Lake Michigan is seen Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013, in Chicago. Two bursts of light snow are likely to total 1 to 2 inches area-wide, making this the snowiest Christmas in the Chicago area since 2002 when 2 inches fell.
    Nam Y. Huh | AP
  • APTOPIX Mideast Jordan Christmas
    The women of Saint Afram Syrian Orthodox church's choir pray during morning Christmas mass in Amman, Jordan, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013. Syrian and Iraqi Orthodox Christian families prayed for peace in their countries.
    Mohammad Hannon | AP
  • Desi, a greyhound trained for pet therapy waits for Santa's arrival at Shriner's Hospital, on December 25, 2013 in Sacramento, California
    Jose Luis Villegas | jvillegas@sacbee.com
  • Santa and dog Tucker arrive at Shriner's Hospital, on December 25, 2013 in Sacramento, California
    Jose Luis Villegas | jvillegas@sacbee.com
  • Serina Drake, kisses her daughter Hope Drake, 13, Hunter, of Sacramento after meeting Santa at Shriner's Hospital, on December 25, 2013 in Sacramento, California
    Jose Luis Villegas | jvillegas@sacbee.com
  • A Christmas pageant was part of the  Christmas Eve services at Trinity Cathedral in Sacramento, Calif., on Tuesday, December 24, 2013.
    Five-year-old Olivia waits to play her part as an angel during a Festive Holy Eucharist and Christmas Pageant at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Sacramento, Calif., on Tuesday, December 24, 2013.
    Manny Crisostomo | mcrisostomo@sacbee.com
  • Texas Daily Life Christmas Fun
    Kayleigh Dziedzic and her brother Hunter try out their new bikes during a visit to Northshore Park on Christmas Day, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013, in The Woodlands, Texas. Several families visited the park to try out new toys and eat lunch.
    Jason Fochtman | AP
  • Mideast Emirates Christmas
    Visitors enjoy artificial snow spraying over a Christmas tree at the Jumeirah Beach Residence, JBR Walk in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013.
    Kamran Jebreili | AP
  • Greece Christmas Financial Crisis
    A boat illuminated with Christmas lights is reflected on the water in the northern Greek port city of Thessaloniki, Wednesday , Dec. 25, 2013. Debt-crippled Greece is gearing up for its fourth austerity Christmas, amid hopes that 2014 may see a token return to economic growth after a six-year depression that has seen unemployment exceed 27 percent and left thousands depending on food handouts.
    Dimitri Messinis | AP
  • Illinois Daily Life Wintry Weather
    People skate at Millennium Park skating rink in Chicago, on Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013. Two bursts of light snow are likely to total 1 to 2 inches area-wide, making this the snowiest Christmas in the Chicago area since 2002 when 2 inches fell.
    Nam Y. Huh | AP
  • Canada Weather
    Samson Boldizar, 8, goes airborne as he toboggans near the Arboretum on Christmas Day in Ottawa, Canada, on Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013.
    Justin Tang | AP
  • Afghanistan US Troops Christmas
    US soldiers and service members with the NATO- led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) attend a religious ceremony on Christmas Eve at Bagram military base in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday Dec. 24, 2013. The commander of NATO forces in eastern Afghanistan spent Christmas Eve visiting U.S. troops at bases across the mountainous region to bring them holiday greetings and gifts for a few lucky soldiers.
    Rahmat Gul | AP
  • Afghanistan US Troops Christmas
    US soldiers and service members with the NATO- led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) attend a religious ceremony on Christmas Eve at Bagram military base in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday Dec. 24, 2013. The commander of NATO forces in eastern Afghanistan spent Christmas Eve visiting U.S. troops at bases across the mountainous region to bring them holiday greetings and gifts for a few lucky soldiers.
    Rahmat Gul | AP
  • Vatican Pope Christmas
    Pope Francis carries a statue of baby Jesus as he celebrates the Christmas Eve Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013.
    Gregorio Borgia | AP
  • Santa Troll
    Children clamber onto an 18-foot tall troll sculpture sporting a giant Santa-type hat under Highway 99 at the Aurora Bridge Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013, in Seattle. The sculpture, built in 1990 of steel rebar, wire and concrete, clutches an actual Volkswagon Beetle and sports a hubcap as an eye, but is usually bare-headed. The figure is often referred to as the "Fremont Troll," for the neighborhood it's in.
    Elaine Thompson | AP
  • Surfing Santas
    George Trosset, center, prepares to surf as he hosts his 5th Surfing Santas event in Cocoa Beach, Fla., Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013. The event raised money for the non profit Grind for Life.
    Malcolm Denemark | AP
  • Holiday Tree
    A man stands in front of the Macy's Christmas Tree at Union Square park in San Francisco, Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013.
    Jeff Chiu | AP
  • Oregon Weather
    Joe Saunders of Clatskanie, Ore., takes a photo fo the layer of fog lying over the Columbia River and blanketing the city of Longview, Washington, while the top of the Lewis and Clark Bridge surfaces from the fog Thrusday Dec. 24, 2013. Saunders was taking the picture from a viewpoint along US Highway 30 west of Rainier, Ore.
    Mark Ylen | AP
  • Holiday Skating
    In this photo taken with a fisheye lens, skaters use the Union Square Holiday Ice Rink in San Francisco, Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013.
    Jeff Chiu | AP
  • Christmas Cold and Dark
    Trees frozen in ice cripple a section of power lines on Maplehurst Drive in Belgrade, Maine, Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013. From Michigan to Maine, hundreds of thousands remain without power days after a massive ice storm _ which one utility called the largest Christmas-week storm in its history _ blacked out homes and businesses in the Great Lakes and Northeast.
    Michael G. Seamans | AP
  • Christmas Cold and Dark
    Dave Dora, a lineman from Grand Haven Board of Light and Power, works on connecting fallen wires on Macon Avenue in Lansing, Mich., Monday, Dec. 23, 2013. From Michigan to Maine, hundreds of thousands remain without power days after a massive ice storm _ which one utility called the largest Christmas-week storm in its history _ blacked out homes and businesses in the Great Lakes and Northeast.
    Greg DeRuiter | AP
  • Christmas Cold and Dark
    Carla Coulter, 46, of Clio, holds her 1-year-old grandson Connor Hergert closely as she gives him a kiss on the forehead while listening to the FirstMerit Bank Mixed Chorus sing "Silent Night" along with about 100 spectators during the 76th Annual Holiday Sing on Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013 at FirstMerit Bank in downtown Flint, Mich. "We don't have power. We're warming up, and I just feel so very blessed to have my family," Coulter said. "I don't need anything else."
    Jake May | AP
  • Warm December weather
    Jeff Small takes advantage of the T-shirt weather, Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013, as he and his daughter Jordynn Small, 4, walk home from a neighborhood park in North Natomas.
    Lezlie Sterling | lsterling@sacbee.com
  • Stocking Babies
    This Thursday Dec. 19, 2013 photo shows newborn baby Dallas Soffel in her Christmas stocking at Redlands Community Hospital in Redlands, Calif. Redlands Community Hospital has had a program for many years in which babies born in December are sent home in a Christmas stocking. The stockings are made by volunteers in the community.
    KURT MILLER | AP
  • South Korea Christmas
    More than 1,000 volunteers clad in Santa Claus costumes cheer as they gather to deliver gifts for the poor in downtown Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday,, Dec. 24, 2013.
    Lee Jin-man | AP
  • Pakistan Christmas
    A Pakistani church employee prepares for Christmas mass in Peshawar, Pakistan, Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013. Christians are a minority in Pakistan, they constitute about 1.6% of the Pakistan’s population.
    Mohammad Sajjad | AP
  • India Christmas
    Indian Christians hold candles ahead of Christmas in Ahmadabad, India, Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013. Though Hindus and Muslims comprise the majority of the population in India, Christmas is celebrated with much fanfare.
    Ajit Solanki | AP
  • India Christmas
    Indian Christian people light candles and pray at the illuminated Sacred Heart’s Cathedral on Christmas Eve in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013. Though Hindus and Muslims comprise the majority of the population in India, Christmas is celebrated with much fanfare.
    Altaf Qadri | AP
  • Mideast Palestinians Christmas
    Christian worshippers from Nigeria pray at the Church of Nativity, traditionally believed by Christians to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem on Christmas Eve, Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013.
    Majdi Mohammed | AP
  • Mideast Palestinians Christmas
    Christians pilgrim worshippers visit the Grotto of the Church of Nativity, traditionally believed by Christians to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem on Christmas Eve, Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013.
    Majdi Mohammed | AP
  • Mideast Palestinians Christmas
    Christian pilgrim worshippers from Nigeria pray in the Grotto of the Church of Nativity, traditionally believed by Christians to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem on Christmas Eve, Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013.
    Majdi Mohammed | AP
  • China Daily Life
    Chinese catholics attend a Christmas Eve Mass service at the official Catholic church South Cathedral in Beijing, China, Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013. China and the Vatican have no diplomatic ties and the ruling Communist Party forced Chinese Catholics to sever their ties in the 1950s. China officially records about 6 million Catholics worshipping in 6,300 congregations across the country, although millions more are believed to worship outside the official church, with considerable crossover between the two in many areas.
    Ng Han Guan | AP
  • Hong Kong Christmas
    Visitors play with shredded paper and Christmas decorations during Christmas eve at a shopping mall in Hong Kong,Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013.
    Kin Cheung | AP
  • Hong Kong Christmas
    A couple look at the illuminated decoration to celebrate the festival season during Christmas eve in Hong Kong,Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013.
    Kin Cheung | AP
  • US NEWS CHRISTMAS AN
    A solitary Christmas tree with battery-powered lights greets motorists as they travel along the Glenn Highway near the Old Glenn overpass during a commute between the Valley and Anchorage on Monday, Dec. 23, 2013. Twin Peaks, located in the Chugach Mountains, are highlighted by alpenglow in the distance.
    Bill Roth | MCT
  • APTOPIX Colorado Holidays
    People take in the elaborate holiday light designs at the Blossoms of Light, which trails around the grounds of the Denver Botanic Gardens, Monday Dec. 23, 2013.
    Brennan Linsley | AP
  • APTOPIX Singapore Underwater Santa Claus
    A diver dressed as Santa Claus surfaces after swimming in the Coral Garden tank, Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013 at the South East Asia Aquarium of Resorts World Sentosa, a popular tourist attraction in Singapore. The performance was part of the aquarium's Christmas celebrations.
    Wong Maye-E | AP
  • APTOPIX India Christmas
    Indian children dressed as Santa Claus dance in front of a sculpture titled World Peace by sand artist Sudarshan Patnaik ahead of Christmas at a beach in Puri, in the eastern Indian city of Bhubaneswar, India, Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013. Though Hindus and Muslims comprise the majority of the population in India, Christmas is celebrated with much fanfare.
    Biswaranjan Rout | AP
  • APTOPIX Veterans-Homelessness
    In this Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013 photo, homeless Korean War veteran Thomas Moore, 79, adjusts his hat while wrapped in a blanket on a sidewalk in Boston. Moore, who said he accidentally killed his best friend with a phosphorous grenade during one firefight and spent months afterward at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, also said he has no interest in getting a government-subsidized apartment.
    Steven Senne | AP
  • Central African Republic Unrest
    Santa hats are one of the limited Christmas offerings on sale in downtown Bangui, Central African Republic, Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013. In the nation's capital, riven by sectarian violence, Christmas shoppers were few this year. Those that did venture out found only a handful of vendors selling plastic toys and Christmas decorations. (AP Photo/ Rebecca Blackwell)
    Rebecca Blackwell | AP
  • Central African Republic Unrest
    A man selling nativity scenes made from clay and reeds waits for clients in downtown Bangui, Central African Republic, Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013. In the nation's capital riven by sectarian violence, Christmas shoppers were few this year. Those that did venture out found only a handful of vendors selling plastic toys and Christmas decorations.
    Rebecca Blackwell | AP
  • Britain Travel Delays
    Passengers wait underneath blank departure screens following a power outage at the North Terminal of London Gatwick Airport in Horley, England, Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013. A severe winter storm has caused major travel problems in Britain, leading to substantial delays Tuesday at London Gatwick Airport and on roads and rail lines at the height of the Christmas travel period.
    Sang Tan | AP
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