Christmas Spirit in Every Corner of the World

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Christmas is one of the main Christian holidays. It is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus, observed as a religious and cultural tradition among billions of people across the world. Christmas Day is a public holiday in many of the world’s nations, and it is celebrated by a great number of non-Christian people.

Christmas is one of the main Christian holidays. It is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus, observed as a religious and cultural tradition among billions of people across the world. Christmas Day is a public holiday in many of the world’s nations, and it is celebrated by a great number of non-Christian people.

© AP Photo / Ahn Young-joonAccording to the Gregorian calendar, the Roman Catholic Church and most Protestant churches celebrate Christmas on December 25.

Above: Volunteers clad in Santa Claus costumes throw their hats in the air as they gather to deliver gifts to the poor in downtown Seoul, South Korea.
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According to the Gregorian calendar, the Roman Catholic Church and most Protestant churches celebrate Christmas on December 25.

Above: Volunteers clad in Santa Claus costumes throw their hats in the air as they gather to deliver gifts to the poor in downtown Seoul, South Korea.
© Sputnik / Igor Zarembo / Go to the photo bankThe decision to celebrate Christmas on December 25 was made at the third ecumenical Council of Ephesus in 431 by Roman Emperor Theodosius II.

Above: Christmas at the St. Adalbert of Prague parish in Kaliningrad.
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The decision to celebrate Christmas on December 25 was made at the third ecumenical Council of Ephesus in 431 by Roman Emperor Theodosius II.

Above: Christmas at the St. Adalbert of Prague parish in Kaliningrad.
© AP Photo / Rick RycroftChristmas is preceded by Advent, which starts four weeks before Christmas and is supposed to prepare the faithful the birth of Jesus.

Above: British travelers Liam Wadeson, left, Jemma Wild and Ashley Colotta, right, frolic in the waves as they celebrate Christmas Day at Bondi Beach in Sydney.
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Christmas is preceded by Advent, which starts four weeks before Christmas and is supposed to prepare the faithful the birth of Jesus.

Above: British travelers Liam Wadeson, left, Jemma Wild and Ashley Colotta, right, frolic in the waves as they celebrate Christmas Day at Bondi Beach in Sydney.
© AP Photo / Sayyid AzimThe festive customs associated in various countries with Christmas have a mix of pre-Christian, Christian and secular themes and origins.

Above: The choir at Shrine of Mary Help of Christian Church sings during the Christmas Mass in Nairobi, Kenya.
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The festive customs associated in various countries with Christmas have a mix of pre-Christian, Christian and secular themes and origins.

Above: The choir at Shrine of Mary Help of Christian Church sings during the Christmas Mass in Nairobi, Kenya.
© AP Photo / Ng Han GuanThe popular customs of the holiday include gift giving, completing an Advent calendar, Christmas music and caroling, a special meal, and the display of various Christmas decorations, such as Christmas tree, Christmas lights and garlands.

Above: A Chinese man prays during a mass on the eve of Christmas at the South Cathedral official Catholic church in Beijing, China.
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The popular customs of the holiday include gift giving, completing an Advent calendar, Christmas music and caroling, a special meal, and the display of various Christmas decorations, such as Christmas tree, Christmas lights and garlands.

Above: A Chinese man prays during a mass on the eve of Christmas at the South Cathedral official Catholic church in Beijing, China.
© REUTERS / StringerChristmas is associated with Santa Claus, also known as also known as Saint Nicholas and Father Christmas, a cultural figure with legendary, folkloric and historic origins.

Above: Members of a local parachute club fly past residential buildings wearing Santa Claus costumes dropping presents to pedestrians during a promotional event celebrating Christmas in Guiyang, Guizhou province.
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Christmas is associated with Santa Claus, also known as also known as Saint Nicholas and Father Christmas, a cultural figure with legendary, folkloric and historic origins.

Above: Members of a local parachute club fly past residential buildings wearing Santa Claus costumes dropping presents to pedestrians during a promotional event celebrating Christmas in Guiyang, Guizhou province.
© AP Photo / Muhammed MuheisenIn many Western cultures, Santa Claus is believed to bring presents to the homes of good children the night before Christmas.

Above: Pakistani Christian family members gather around a fire to warm themselves from the evening cold in an alley of a Christian neighborhood decorated with festive lights for Christmas in Islamabad, Pakistan.
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In many Western cultures, Santa Claus is believed to bring presents to the homes of good children the night before Christmas.

Above: Pakistani Christian family members gather around a fire to warm themselves from the evening cold in an alley of a Christian neighborhood decorated with festive lights for Christmas in Islamabad, Pakistan.
© REUTERS / Jorge Dan LopezAccording to early Roman Christian traditions, three special liturgies are served on Christmas day, a midnight Mass, a Mass at dawn, and a Mass during the day.

Above: Men look at a Christmas tree, with pictures of the 43 missing trainee teachers, in the Ayotzinapa Teacher Training Raul Isidro Burgos College in Ayotzinapa, on the outskirts of Chilpancingo, Guerrero.
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According to early Roman Christian traditions, three special liturgies are served on Christmas day, a midnight Mass, a Mass at dawn, and a Mass during the day.

Above: Men look at a Christmas tree, with pictures of the 43 missing trainee teachers, in the Ayotzinapa Teacher Training Raul Isidro Burgos College in Ayotzinapa, on the outskirts of Chilpancingo, Guerrero.
© AP Photo / Majdi MohammedChristmas celebrations last for eight days, from December 25 to January 1, a period known as the Octave.

Above: A Palestinian dressed as Santa Claus holds balloons at Manger Square, outside the Church of the Nativity, traditionally believed by Christians to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Christmas Eve.
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Christmas celebrations last for eight days, from December 25 to January 1, a period known as the Octave.

Above: A Palestinian dressed as Santa Claus holds balloons at Manger Square, outside the Church of the Nativity, traditionally believed by Christians to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Christmas Eve.
© AP Photo / Ajit SolankiMore than 160 countries celebrate Christmas across the world. A few countries such as Angola and Uruguay designate Christmas as Family Day. In some countries (for example, Jordan and Pakistan), December 25th is an official holiday only for Christians.

Above: A man exits an illuminated Church on Christmas Eve in Ahmadabad, India.
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More than 160 countries celebrate Christmas across the world. A few countries such as Angola and Uruguay designate Christmas as Family Day. In some countries (for example, Jordan and Pakistan), December 25th is an official holiday only for Christians.

Above: A man exits an illuminated Church on Christmas Eve in Ahmadabad, India.
© Sputnik / Vladimir AstapkovichThe North American Aerospace Defense (NORAD) tracks Santa Claus when he leaves his official residence in the North Pole and flies around the world in his sleigh. NORAD has been tracking Santa’s journey for more than 50 years.

Above: Archbishop Paolo Pezzi, center, during the Midnight Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Moscow.
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The North American Aerospace Defense (NORAD) tracks Santa Claus when he leaves his official residence in the North Pole and flies around the world in his sleigh. NORAD has been tracking Santa’s journey for more than 50 years.

Above: Archbishop Paolo Pezzi, center, during the Midnight Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Moscow.
© AP Photo / Rafiq MaqboolAs gift-giving and many other Christmas customs involve heightened economic activity, the holiday has become a key sales period for retailers and businesses all around the world.

Above: Indian girls pose for photos near statues of decorative Santa Claus outside a church on Christmas in Mumbai, India.
Indian girls pose for photos near statues of decorative Santa Claus outside a church on Christmas in Mumbai, India - Sputnik International
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As gift-giving and many other Christmas customs involve heightened economic activity, the holiday has become a key sales period for retailers and businesses all around the world.

Above: Indian girls pose for photos near statues of decorative Santa Claus outside a church on Christmas in Mumbai, India.
© REUTERS / Lucas JacksonNativity plays and Christmas pageants are often performed on Christmas. They depict the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. The tradition is known from the 10th-century Roman Empire.

Above: A US soldier from the 3rd Cavalry Regiment dressed as Santa Claus greets fellow soldiers eating a Christmas day lunch at forward operating base Gamberi in the Laghman province of Afghanistan.
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Nativity plays and Christmas pageants are often performed on Christmas. They depict the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. The tradition is known from the 10th-century Roman Empire.

Above: A US soldier from the 3rd Cavalry Regiment dressed as Santa Claus greets fellow soldiers eating a Christmas day lunch at forward operating base Gamberi in the Laghman province of Afghanistan.
© REUTERS / Max Rossi Pope Francis prayed for peace in Ukraine and decried the "brutal persecution" of Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq and Syria in his traditional Christmas address, known as the "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and the world).

Above: Pope Francis kisses the statue of baby Jesus as he arrives to lead the Christmas night mass in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican.
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Pope Francis prayed for peace in Ukraine and decried the "brutal persecution" of Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq and Syria in his traditional Christmas address, known as the "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and the world).

Above: Pope Francis kisses the statue of baby Jesus as he arrives to lead the Christmas night mass in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican.
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