Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas 2013 Around the World



Christmas 2013 Around the World


The sun'll come out
Bet your bottom dollar
That tomorrow
There'll be sun!




Yesterday was Christmas, the Christian festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. For some, it was a day of churchgoing and spiritual reflection. For others, it was a more secular holiday marked by gift-giving, charity, and time spent with loved ones. Observations varied across the world, from quiet religious ceremonies to raucous street parties or smaller gatherings of friends and families. Collected here are some glimpses of Christmas celebrations around the globe this year.

Hong Kong: Young children hold Christingles, meaning "Christ Lights", during a festive church service on Christmas Eve in Hong Kong, on December 24, 2013. The services derive from a Moravian custom of distributing lit candles to children on Christmas Eve in order to celebrate Christ, the light of the world. A Christingle is made of an orange, representing the world, with a red ribbon around it representing the blood of Jesus. Fruits and sweets are skewered onto cocktail sticks which are pushed into the orange representing the fruits of the earth and the four seasons. A lit candle is finally pushed into the center of the orange representing Christ, the light of the world.(Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images)


Venice: People dressed in Santa Claus costumes row boats on the Venice canal, on December 21, 2013. (Reuters/Manuel Silvestri) #


Hawaii: A Hawaiian Santa ornament sits atop a Christmas tree being decorated by Staci Kennedy, of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii, on December 25, 2013. (Reuters/Kevin Lamarque) #


Indonesia: Christian worshipers attend a Christmas prayer in Surabaya, on December 25, 2013. Indonesian Christians celebrated Christmas amid a warning on December 12 from Indonesian police that Islamic extremists may be planning to target worshippers during Christmas and New Years celebrations in the capital Jakarta and other parts of the country. (Juni Kriswanto/AFP/Getty Images) #


Bethlehem: A Christian worshiper uses her iPad to take photos during a Christmas mass at the Church of the Nativity, on December 25, 2013. Every Christmas pilgrims travel to the church where a gold star embedded in the floor marks the spot where Jesus was believed to have been born. (Oren Ziv/Getty Images) #


France: A young boy discovers his presents on the Christmas tree on December 25, 2013 in Dinan, France.(Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images) #


Boston: Cardinal Sean O'Malley, the archbishop of Boston, serves meals during a Christmas Eve luncheon for homeless guests at the Pine Street Inn in Boston, on December 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) #


Syria: Christians celebrate Christmas during a party held at the Dama Rose hotel in Damascus, Syria, on December 25, 2013.(AP Photo) #


Seattle: Children clamber onto an 18-foot tall troll sculpture sporting a giant Santa hat under Highway 99 at the Aurora Bridge in Seattle, on December 24, 2013. The sculpture, built in 1990 of steel rebar, wire and concrete, clutches an actual Volkswagen Beetle and sports a hubcap as an eye, but is usually bare-headed. The figure is often referred to as the "Fremont Troll." (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) #


South Korea: Employees dressed as Santa Claus perform as part of a shopping mall's Christmas celebrations in Seoul, South Korea, on December 24, 2013. Many South Korean companies take advantage of Christmas to promote their business amid weak sales and economic slowdown. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon) #


France: A polar bear opens a package filled with food and wrapped as a Christmas gift at the zoo in La Fleche, France, on December 23, 2013. (Jean-Francois Monier/AFP/Getty Images) #


Bulgaria: A woman lights a candle during a Christmas mass in the golden-domed Alexander Nevsky cathedral in central Sofia, on December 25, 2013. Bulgaria, unlike some other fellow Orthodox countries, celebrates Christmas on December 25.(Nikolay Doychinov/AFP/Getty Images) #


Mexico: A giant balloon in the shape of Batman, in the Christmas parade in Acapulco, Guerrero state, Mexico, on December 25, 2013.(Pedro Pardo/AFP/Getty Images) #


Pakistan: Pakistani Christian Salamat Masih prepares a scene of nativity for Christmas celebrations in the slums of Islamabad, Pakistan, on December 24, 2013. Christians are a minority in Pakistan, about 1.6% of the population. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash) #


Australia: Lucy O'Grady hugs her little sister Poppie O'Grady, to keep her warm as the visitors from Birmingham in the United Kingdom celebrate Christmas Day at Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia, on December 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft) #


Lebanon: Lebanese Christians dressed as Santa Claus celebrate Christmas in Jiyeh village, south of Beirut, on December 24, 2013.(Reuters/Sharif Karim) #


Los Angeles: Faith Callion, 8, smiles as she sits with Santa Claus at the Los Angeles Mission's Christmas meal service and toy giveaway at skid row in Los Angeles, California, on December 24, 2013. (Reuters/Jonathan Alcorn) #


Bethlehem: Girls wearing traditional Palestinian costumes take part in a Christmas procession at Manger Square in front of the Church of the Nativity, the site revered as the birthplace of Jesus, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, on December 24, 2013.(Reuters/Darren Whiteside) #

Philippines: Children line up to receive a Christmas gift from volunteers near a giant lantern with the colors of the Philippine flag, in Tacloban, Philippines, on December 25, 2013. This year, Christmas is a celebration amid deprivation, in tents, makeshift homes and damaged churches in the city devastated by the November 8 typhoon Haiyan.


Philippines: A girl discovers a doll discarded by a grocery store on Christmas day on December 25, 2013 in Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines.(Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images) #


New York: Cardinal Timothy Dolan speaks to inmates of Rikers Island Correctional Facility at a service held for inmates the day before Christmas in New York, on December 24, 2013. (Reuters/Lucas Jackson) #


Hong Kong: A couple dressed as Santa Claus deliver candies to visitors at the waterfront of Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong during Christmas eve as they celebrate the festival season, on December 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung) #


California: Nicole Englanoff, 19, (right) and Leah Zeffren, 19, sunbathe on the beach on Christmas Day in Santa Monica, California, on December 25, 2013. (Reuters/Lucy Nicholson) #


India: Indian Christians light candles at a Christmas Day service outside the St. Mary's church in Siliguri on December 25, 2013. Despite Christians forming a little over two percent of the billion plus population in India, with Hindus comprising the majority, Christmas is celebrated with fanfare and zeal throughout the country. (Diptendu Dutta/AFP/Getty Images) #


Pakistan: Pakistani Christians attend Christmas mass in Peshawar, Pakistan, on December 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad) #


Jordan: The women of Saint Afram Syrian Orthodox church's choir pray during morning Christmas mass in Amman, Jordan, on December 25, 2013. Syrian and Iraqi Orthodox Christian families prayed for peace in their countries. (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon) #


Egypt: An Egyptian woman looks at Christmas trees in Cairo, Egypt, on December 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil) #


China: Residents walk in a street attending a celebration of Christmas Eve on December 24, 2013 in Shenyang, China.(ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images) #


Central African Republic: Catholic priests lead a special Christmas Day mass for children, in a monastery ground serving as a camp for the displaced, in Bangui, Central African Republic, on December 25, 2013. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 200,000 people remain displaced in the capital alone, and more than half of those are children.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) #


Central African Republic: Children pray during a special Christmas Day mass for children, in a monastery ground serving as a camp for the displaced, in Bangui, Central African Republic, on December 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) #


Pakistan: A Pakistani Christian woman attends mass along with others on Christmas day at St. Anthony's Church in Lahore, on December 25, 2013. (Reuters/Mohsin Raza) #


India: A young Indian boy sells Christmas merchandise outside the Sacred Heart's Cathedral in New Delhi, India, on December 24, 2013.(AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) #


Afghanistan: 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, on December 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul) #


Chile: Ruben Torres, dressed in a Santa Claus outfit, waves to people from a boat with fishermen on Christmas Eve along the coast of Valparaiso city, about 121 km (75 miles) northwest of Santiago, on December 24, 2013. Every year, fishermen in Valparaiso organize a Santa Claus boat trip as people wait on the shore to receive their Christmas presents and well-wishes. (Reuters/Eliseo Fernandez) #


Sri Lanka: Donations by devotees are seen on a statue of baby Jesus at a church during a special mass on Christmas day in Colombo, on December 25, 2013. (Reuters/Dinuka Liyanawatte) #


China: Chinese Catholics attend a Christmas Eve Mass service at the official Catholic church South Cathedral in Beijing, on December 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 worshiping 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. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) #


West Bank: Palestinian Christians participate in a morning Christmas mass at St. George Melkite Greek Catholic Church, in the West Bank village of Burqin near Jenin city, on December 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Mohammed Ballas) #


Belarus: Men wearing costumes of Ded Moroz (Grandfather Frost), the Santa Claus in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, and women wearing costumes of Snegurochka (Snow Maiden), the traditional companion of Ded Moroz, march during their parade in Minsk on December 25, 2013. (Viktor Drachev/AFP/Getty Images) #


Iraq: Iraqi Christians attend a Christmas mass at the Mother Teresa Catholic Church in Basra, Iraq's second-largest city, 340 miles (550 kilometers) southeast of Baghdad, on Dec 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Nabil al-Jurani) #


New York: A woman prays during Midnight Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York, on Christmas Day, December 25, 2013.(Reuters/Carlo Allegri)

A massive storm swept across the Midwest and parts of Canada yesterday, encasing everything in thick ice, downing trees and power lines, and making travel nearly impossible just before Christmas. An estimated 500,000 people are without power today, as utility crews work to clear and repair the lines before the temperature drops even further in the coming days. Below are images of the storm's aftermath from Ontario and Quebec.

A layer of ice coats the leaves of a Japanese maple tree after an ice storm in Toronto, Ontario, on December 22, 2013. (Reuters/Chris Helgren)


A snowman after the ice storm in Ontario. Original here. (CC BY Angus Chan) #


An ice-encased sign in Brampton, Ontario. Original here. (CC BY SA Ryan M. Gilchrist) #


People walk past fallen ice-covered tree limbs along a road following an ice storm in Toronto, on December 22, 2013.(Reuters/Mark Blinch) #


Tree branches encased in ice following an ice storm in Toronto, on December 22, 2013. (Reuters/Bob Strong) #


Outdoor Christmas ornaments, following an ice storm in Toronto, on December 22, 2013. (Reuters/Bob Strong) #


Warren Milne builds an igloo out of ice on his front lawn following an ice storm in Toronto, on December 22, 2013.(Reuters/Mark Blinch) #


Icicles hang from a signal light and a street sign after freezing rain in Toronto, Ontario, on December 22, 2013.(Reuters/Hyungwon Kang) #


An inflatable Santa Claus, deflated due to a power outage, after an ice storm hit Toronto, on December 22, 2013.(Reuters/Mark Blinch) #


Berries encrusted in ice, during an ice storm in Toronto, on December 22, 2013. (Reuters/Gary Hershorn) #


A woman's hair, blasted by the wind during a snowstorm in Quebec City, on December 22, 2013. (Reuters/Mathieu Belanger) #


Tree branches encased in ice, following an ice storm in Toronto, on December 22, 2013. (Reuters/Bob Strong) #


A bicycle is covered with ice after freezing rain in Toronto, on December 22, 2013. (Reuters/Hyungwon Kang) #


The tip of a tree branch encased in ice in Toronto, on December 22, 2013. (Reuters/Bob Strong) #


Cars drive by a fallen tree limb hanging from a power line following an ice storm in Toronto, on December 22, 2013.(Reuters/Mark Blinch) #


Tree branches and leaves in Toronto, on December 22, 2013. (Reuters/Bob Strong) #


After the ice storm in Toronto, December 22, 2013.

Farewell to Another Year

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