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Photos: A merry round-up of Christmas celebrations around the world

A girl gets into the holiday spirit at church celebrations in Ahmedabad, India, on Christmas Day.

Ajit Solanki/AP

A girl gets into the holiday spirit at church celebrations in Ahmedabad, India, on Christmas Day.

Another Christmas, another year of scaled-back celebrations.

For the second year in a row, the world has seen smaller crowds at church services and fewer festivities in general, as we continue to deal with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

But even Covid-19 can’t stop Christmas. Here’s a round-up of photos from celebrations around the globe.

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GERMANY

Members of the Berliner Seehunde ice swimming club go for a very chilly Christmas Day dip at Orankesee lake in Berlin, Germany. Ice swimming is popular across Germany and a Christmas Day swim is for many a yearly ritual.

Omer Messinger/Getty Images

Members of the Berliner Seehunde ice swimming club go for a very chilly Christmas Day dip at Orankesee lake in Berlin, Germany. Ice swimming is popular across Germany and a Christmas Day swim is for many a yearly ritual.

AUSTRALIA

Surf’s up in Sydney, as many celebrated Christmas Day at Bondi Beach.

Rick Rycroft/AP

Surf’s up in Sydney, as many celebrated Christmas Day at Bondi Beach.

SOUTH KOREA

Christmas services are conducted from the Yoido Full Gospel Church on December 25 in Seoul, South Korea.

Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Christmas services are conducted from the Yoido Full Gospel Church on December 25 in Seoul, South Korea.

NEW ZEALAND

Animals were treated to their very own Christmas presents at Orana Wildlife Park in Christchurch.

CHRIS SKELTON

Animals were treated to their very own Christmas presents at Orana Wildlife Park in Christchurch.

THAILAND

Monitor lizard enthusiasts gathered for a garden party on Christmas Day in Bangkok, Thailand, to share their appreciation for the lizards.

Lauren DeCicca/Getty Images

Monitor lizard enthusiasts gathered for a garden party on Christmas Day in Bangkok, Thailand, to share their appreciation for the lizards.

INDIA

Children interact with a man dressed as Santa Claus during Christmas celebrations at a hospital in Mumbai, India.

Rafiq Maqbool/AP

Children interact with a man dressed as Santa Claus during Christmas celebrations at a hospital in Mumbai, India.

US

US President Joe Biden, First Lady Jill Biden and their new dog, Commander, meet virtually with service members around the world to thank them for their service and wish them a Merry Christmas.

Carolyn Kaster/AP

US President Joe Biden, First Lady Jill Biden and their new dog, Commander, meet virtually with service members around the world to thank them for their service and wish them a Merry Christmas.

Rev David Carter places the figure of baby Jesus in the nativity scene at the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Chattanooga, Tennessee, US, on Christmas Eve.

Robin Rudd/AP

Rev David Carter places the figure of baby Jesus in the nativity scene at the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Chattanooga, Tennessee, US, on Christmas Eve.

A young fan holds up a Christmas-themed sign during the first half of an NBA basketball game between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Boston Celtics on Christmas Day in Milwaukee.

Jon Durr

A young fan holds up a Christmas-themed sign during the first half of an NBA basketball game between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Boston Celtics on Christmas Day in Milwaukee.

SCOTLAND

A swimmer enjoys a brisk dip on Christmas Day at Portobello Beach in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Andrew Milligan/AP

A swimmer enjoys a brisk dip on Christmas Day at Portobello Beach in Edinburgh, Scotland.

SRI LANKA

Sri Lankan Christians attend a Christmas mass at a church in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Christmas Day.

Eranga Jayawardena/AP

Sri Lankan Christians attend a Christmas mass at a church in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Christmas Day.

EGYPT

An Egyptian Catholic worshiper lights candles during the Christmas Eve Mass at Saint Joseph's Catholic Church in Cairo on Christmas Eve.

Amr Nabil/AP

An Egyptian Catholic worshiper lights candles during the Christmas Eve Mass at Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church in Cairo on Christmas Eve.

ROMANIA

People from northern Romania perform the bear dance Christmas and New Year's ritual in Bucharest, Romania, on Christmas Day. The tradition, originating in pre-Christian times when dancers wearing coloured costumes or animal furs went from house to house in villages singing and dancing to ward off evil, has moved to Romania's cities, where the ritual is performed for money.

Alexandru Dobre/AP

People from northern Romania perform the bear dance Christmas and New Year’s ritual in Bucharest, Romania, on Christmas Day. The tradition, originating in pre-Christian times when dancers wearing coloured costumes or animal furs went from house to house in villages singing and dancing to ward off evil, has moved to Romania’s cities, where the ritual is performed for money.

VATICAN

Pope Francis looks at the crowd before delivering his Christmas Day blessing from the main balcony of St Peter's Basilica at the Vatican.

Gregorio Borgia/AP

Pope Francis looks at the crowd before delivering his Christmas Day blessing from the main balcony of St Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.

CHINA

Visitors check out the Christmas decorations at a mall in Beijing, China. Not traditionally celebrated in China, Christmas is mostly a commercial attraction to close the year-end sales at stores.

Ng Han Guan/AP

Visitors check out the Christmas decorations at a mall in Beijing, China. Not traditionally celebrated in China, Christmas is mostly a commercial attraction to close the year-end sales at stores.

NIGERIA

Archbishop Alfred Adewale Martins celebrates a morning Christmas Mass at Holy Cross Cathedral in Lagos, Nigeria.

Sunday Alamba/AP

Archbishop Alfred Adewale Martins celebrates a morning Christmas Mass at Holy Cross Cathedral in Lagos, Nigeria.

JAPAN

A Christmas illumination display draws crowds at a shopping mall in Yokohama, Japan, on Christmas Day.

Shuji Kajiyama/AP

A Christmas illumination display draws crowds at a shopping mall in Yokohama, Japan, on Christmas Day.

ITALY

A Christmas Day meal for those in need is celebrated at the Santa Maria in Trastevere Basilica in Rome on Christmas Day.

Gregorio Borgia/AP

A Christmas Day meal for those in need is celebrated at the Santa Maria in Trastevere Basilica in Rome on Christmas Day.

KENYA

Hundreds of holidaymakers head to the Jomo Kenyatta Public Beach in Mombasa, Kenya, on Christmas Day.

Gideon Maundu/AP

Hundreds of holidaymakers head to the Jomo Kenyatta Public Beach in Mombasa, Kenya, on Christmas Day.

ENGLAND

Swimmers donned their best Santa outfits for a Christmas Day swim at Exmouth, Devon, England.

Ben Birchall

Swimmers donned their best Santa outfits for a Christmas Day swim at Exmouth, Devon, England.

PAKISTAN

Christians attend a Christmas mass at All Saints' Anglican Church in Peshawar, Pakistan, on December 25.

Muhammad Sajjad/AP

Christians attend a Christmas mass at All Saints’ Anglican Church in Peshawar, Pakistan, on December 25.

BRAZIL

A homeless child holds a sandwich and a toy received as a donation on Christmas Day in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Marcelo Chello/AP

A homeless child holds a sandwich and a toy received as a donation on Christmas Day in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

FRANCE

Hospital worker Sonia Mokhtari sets up a Christmas tree for a Christmas Eve meal in the Covid-19 intensive care unit at la Timone hospital in Marseille, southern France.

Daniel Cole/AP

Hospital worker Sonia Mokhtari sets up a Christmas tree for a Christmas Eve meal in the Covid-19 intensive care unit at la Timone hospital in Marseille, southern France.

UKRAINE

People in folk costumes sing songs as they celebrate Christmas in central Kyiv, Ukraine.

Efrem Lukatsky/AP

People in folk costumes sing songs as they celebrate Christmas in central Kyiv, Ukraine.



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