Merry Christmas! Catholics Celebrate Birth of Jesus

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Christmas is a central feast of the Christian liturgical year, it is preceded by the season of Advent and marks the beginning of Christmastide, which lasts 12 days.
The 25th of December is Christmas day in the Catholic and Protestant calendar. Catholics all over the globe attend midnight mass church services late on Christmas Eve where they celebrate the birth of Jesus.
Although the exact date of Jesus' birth is unknown, in the early fourth century the church decided to dedicate the 25th of December to the festivities, as it corresponded to the date of the winter solstice on the Roman calendar and is exactly nine months after Annunciation on 25 March.
Check out Sputnik's photo gallery to feel the festive vibes.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
© Sputnik / Alexandr Kryazhev / Go to the mediabank

Festive mass on Christmas Eve at a Catholic church in Novosibirsk, Russia.

Festive mass on Christmas Eve at a Catholic church in Novosibirsk, Russia. - Sputnik International
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Festive mass on Christmas Eve at a Catholic church in Novosibirsk, Russia.

© AFP 2022 / Narinder Nanu

A child dressed as Santa Claus is held up by her mother on Christmas Eve at St. Paul's church in Amritsar, India, on 24 December 2021.

A child dressed as Santa Claus is held up by her mother on Christmas Eve at St. Paul's church in Amritsar, India, on 24 December 2021. - Sputnik International
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A child dressed as Santa Claus is held up by her mother on Christmas Eve at St. Paul's church in Amritsar, India, on 24 December 2021.

© REUTERS / Guglielmo MangiapanePope Francis celebrates Christmas Eve Holy Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, 24 December 2021.
Pope Francis celebrates Christmas Eve Holy Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, 24 December 2021.  - Sputnik International
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Pope Francis celebrates Christmas Eve Holy Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, 24 December 2021.
© AFP 2022 / Safin Hamed

Young altar servers light up their candles during the Christmas Eve mass at the Syriac Orthodox Church of Um al-Noor in Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq, on 24 December 2021.

Young altar servers light up their candles during the Christmas Eve mass at the Syriac Orthodox Church of Um al-Noor in Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq, on 24 December 2021. - Sputnik International
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Young altar servers light up their candles during the Christmas Eve mass at the Syriac Orthodox Church of Um al-Noor in Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq, on 24 December 2021.

© Sputnik / Alexandr Kryazhev  / Go to the mediabankA mask-wearing boy looks thoughtful during a Christmas mass at a Catholic church in Novosibirsk.
A mask-wearing boy looks thoughtful during a Christmas mass at a Catholic church in Novosibirsk.  - Sputnik International
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A mask-wearing boy looks thoughtful during a Christmas mass at a Catholic church in Novosibirsk.
© AFP 2022 / Hussein Faleh

The mitre (hat) and crosier (pastoral staff) of Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Basra Habib Nafali are seen behind a bonfire during the Christmas eve mass at the Church of Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus in the southern Iraq city of Basra on 24 December 2021.

The mitre (hat) and crosier (pastoral staff) of Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Basra Habib Nafali are seen behind a bonfire during the Christmas eve mass at the Church of Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus in the southern Iraq city of Basra on 24 December 2021. - Sputnik International
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The mitre (hat) and crosier (pastoral staff) of Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Basra Habib Nafali are seen behind a bonfire during the Christmas eve mass at the Church of Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus in the southern Iraq city of Basra on 24 December 2021.

© REUTERS / Thomas MukoyaChristian faithful of the Legio Maria African Mission church attend the Christmas eve vigil mass amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic at their church in the Fort Jesus area of Nairobi, Kenya, 25 December 2021.
Christian faithful of the Legio Maria African Mission church attend the Christmas eve vigil mass amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic at their church in the Fort Jesus area of Nairobi, Kenya, 25 December 2021. - Sputnik International
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Christian faithful of the Legio Maria African Mission church attend the Christmas eve vigil mass amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic at their church in the Fort Jesus area of Nairobi, Kenya, 25 December 2021.
© AP Photo / Ng Han GuanA child wearing a mask looks out from a window promoting the 2022 Christmas holiday at a mall in Beijing, China, Saturday, 25 December 2021.
A child wearing a mask looks out from a window promoting the 2022 Christmas holiday at a mall in Beijing, China, Saturday, 25 December 2021.  - Sputnik International
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A child wearing a mask looks out from a window promoting the 2022 Christmas holiday at a mall in Beijing, China, Saturday, 25 December 2021.
© AFP 2022 / -A man dressed as Santa greets Iranians as they walk past a shop selling Christmas decorations in the capital Tehran on 24 December 2021.
A man dressed as Santa greets Iranians as they walk past a shop selling Christmas decorations in the capital Tehran on 24 December 2021.  - Sputnik International
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A man dressed as Santa greets Iranians as they walk past a shop selling Christmas decorations in the capital Tehran on 24 December 2021.
© AFP 2022 / Armend Nimani

Children perform at the Mother Teresa Cathedral during the midnight Christmas mass in Pristina on 25 December 2021.

Children perform at the Mother Teresa Cathedral during the midnight Christmas mass in Pristina on 25 December 2021. - Sputnik International
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Children perform at the Mother Teresa Cathedral during the midnight Christmas mass in Pristina on 25 December 2021.

© AFP 2022 / Arif AliChristian devotees attend a prayer service at Sacred Heart Cathedral to celebrate Christmas in Lahore on 25 December 2021.
Christian devotees attend a prayer service at Sacred Heart Cathedral to celebrate Christmas in Lahore on 25 December 2021.  - Sputnik International
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Christian devotees attend a prayer service at Sacred Heart Cathedral to celebrate Christmas in Lahore on 25 December 2021.
© AFP 2022 / Ibrahim ChalhoubFreedivers dressed in Saint Nicholas (Santa Claus) costumes pose for a picture while submerged underwater off the coast of Lebanon's northern city of Batroun on Christmas eve on 24 December 2021.
Freedivers dressed in Saint Nicholas (Santa Claus) costumes pose for a picture while submerged underwater off the coast of Lebanon's northern city of Batroun on Christmas eve on 24 December 2021.  - Sputnik International
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Freedivers dressed in Saint Nicholas (Santa Claus) costumes pose for a picture while submerged underwater off the coast of Lebanon's northern city of Batroun on Christmas eve on 24 December 2021.
© AP Photo / David Zalubowski

Rev. Samuel J. Aquila, third from left, archbishop of the archdiocese of Denver, greets actors Jill Brun, left, James Joseph, second from left, and David Martinez, as they take part in a live nativity scene outside the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception before Christmas Eve Mass, 24 December 2021, in downtown Denver.

Rev. Samuel J. Aquila, third from left, archbishop of the archdiocese of Denver, greets actors Jill Brun, left, James Joseph, second from left, and David Martinez, as they take part in a live nativity scene outside the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception before Christmas Eve Mass, 24 December 2021, in downtown Denver. - Sputnik International
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Rev. Samuel J. Aquila, third from left, archbishop of the archdiocese of Denver, greets actors Jill Brun, left, James Joseph, second from left, and David Martinez, as they take part in a live nativity scene outside the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception before Christmas Eve Mass, 24 December 2021, in downtown Denver.

© AFP 2022 / Jaafar AshtiyehPierbattista Pizzaballa (C), the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, greets children as he arrives at the Church of Nativity during Christmas celebrations in the biblical city of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank on Christmas eve on 24 December 2021.
Pierbattista Pizzaballa (C), the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, greets children as he arrives at the Church of Nativity during Christmas celebrations in the biblical city of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank on Christmas eve on 24 December 2021. - Sputnik International
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Pierbattista Pizzaballa (C), the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, greets children as he arrives at the Church of Nativity during Christmas celebrations in the biblical city of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank on Christmas eve on 24 December 2021.
© AP Photo / Daniel Cole

Junior doctor Tom Ballas looks into the room of a patient as doctors and nurses share a Christmas Eve meal together in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at la Timone hospital in Marseille, southern France, Friday, 24 December 2021.

Junior doctor Tom Ballas looks into the room of a patient as doctors and nurses share a Christmas Eve meal together in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at la Timone hospital in Marseille, southern France, Friday, 24 December 2021. - Sputnik International
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Junior doctor Tom Ballas looks into the room of a patient as doctors and nurses share a Christmas Eve meal together in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at la Timone hospital in Marseille, southern France, Friday, 24 December 2021.

© AFP 2022 / Ishara S. KodikaraChristian devotees take communion during a Christmas mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Lanka in Ragama on 25 December 2021.
Christian devotees take communion during a Christmas mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Lanka in Ragama on 25 December 2021.  - Sputnik International
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Christian devotees take communion during a Christmas mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Lanka in Ragama on 25 December 2021.
© Sputnik / Ramil Sitdikov / Go to the mediabank

The Roman-Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of the Holy Virgin Mary in Moscow.

The Roman-Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of the Holy Virgin Mary in Moscow. - Sputnik International
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The Roman-Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of the Holy Virgin Mary in Moscow.

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