Christmas celebrations around the world

Christmas celebrations around the world

Preparations for one of the world's most popular festivals have been on for weeks. Here's a glimpse at how the world is celebrating Christmas.

Israeli-Arab Issa Kassissieh wears a Santa Claus costume as he rides a camel and poses for the media during an annual Christmas tree distribution by the Jerusalem municipality on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. The Dome of the Rock is seen in the background. (Source: Reuters)

A Lebanese woman wearing a Santa Claus costume sings during a Christmas event, in downtown Beirut, Lebanon. (Source: AP)

Christmas lights adorn the Usaquen park in Bogota, Colombia. Medellin, the country’s second-largest city, has reduced by an hour a day its spectacular light display that covers churches, parks and even the city’s namesake river. (Source: AP)

Dancers from La Magdalena community hold candles as they pray on the seventh day of the "Novena" in Quito, Ecuador. The nine-day event leads up to Christmas eve, a time when families and friends gather to pray, eat and sing Christmas carols. The tradition also showcases traditional Ecuadorian clothing and dances. (Source: AP)

Young tourists enjoy a warm weather walking in Red Square illuminated to mark the upcoming Christmas and New Year celebrations in Moscow, Russia, with the Spasskaya Tower on the right. (Source: AP)

Pakistani Christians buy items for the upcoming Christmas holiday in Karachi, Pakistan. (Source: AP)

Students dressed as Santa Claus during Christmas celebration at a school in Bikaner, Rajasthan. (Source: PTI)

An Indian Muslim vendor selling Christmas souvenirs drinks tea as he awaits customers at his shop ahead of Christmas in Bangalore, India, Though the Hindus and Muslims comprise majority of the population in India, Christmas is a national holiday celebrated with much fanfare. (Source: AP)

A 17-foot sustainable tree made from 789 green plastic bottles on display at the Ritz-Carlton in Charlotte, N.C. The hotel also has three trees made from macaron cookies and a life-size gingerbread house on display (L). A man looks inside the 16-meter high Christmas tree erected by Hello Wood, a Budapest based international educational platform of design and architecture and a design studio, stands after its inauguration in a square in central Budapest, Hungary. The tree with a basic area of 30 square meters was built of 40 tons of firewood that will be distributed among the poor after the holiday (R). (Source: AP)

It's less than a month to go before one of the world's most popular festivals comes knocking, and the preparations have already started. Here's a glimpse at how the world is gearing up for Christmas. IN PIC: The Christmas tree of the Christmas Market is reflected in two windows in downtown Frankfurt, Germany. (Source: AP)

The Library on the ground floor of the White House, in Washington as Christmas decorations for 2015 were unveiled. Four designers whose clothes first lady Michelle Obama has worn also designed and decorated three rooms on the ground floor of the White House for Christmas. The duo of Carol Lim and Humberto Leon decorated the library. (Source: AP)

US President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, and their daughters, and Michelle's mother, as the National Christmas Tree is lit during the National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony at the Ellipse in Washington on Dec. 3, 2015. On the far left on stage is actress Reese Witherspoon. (Source: AP)

Two divers in Santa suits conduct a fish feeding session as part of the upcoming Christmas celebrations at Aquaria KLCC underwater park in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Source: AP)

Christian Palestinians attend the lighting of a Christmas tree in Manger Square, outside the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem. Christmas Eve is a major event for the biblical town, but Mayor Vera Baboun said the city would only decorate Manger Square this year. The holiday spirit will be harder to find after weeks of Israeli-Palestinian violence. (Source: AP)

Mona Shores choir students perform during the annual Singing Christmas Tree at the Frauenthal Center in Muskegon, Michigan, on Dec. 3. The Mona Shores Singing Christmas Tree combines the usual elements into an unusual show that will draw thousands of spectators. (Source: AP)

People enjoy the Christmas illuminations at the Royal Treaty street in Warsaw, Poland. (Source: AP)

People enjoy fireworks and the dazzling display of more than 550,000 LED lights during the Reliant Lights Your Holidays at the AT&T Performing Arts Center on Dec. 5 in Dallas, Texas. (Source: AP)

People watch as the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is lit during the 83rd Annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Dec. 2, 2015, in New York. The Norway Spruce tree stands at about 78ft tall and is lit with multi-coloured LED lights. (Source: AP)

A Ferris wheel is reflected in the wet cobbles at the traditional Christmas market in Essen, Germany, on Nov. 19, 2015. (Source: AP)

The Official White House Christmas Tree arrives to the White House in Washington on Nov. 27, 2015. This year's White House Christmas tree, which will be on display in the Blue Room, is from Bustard's Christmas Trees in Lansdale, Pasadena. (Source: AP)

A man dressed as Santa Claus stands in front of Germany's biggest Christmas tree, illuminated by 48,000 lights at the traditional Christmas market in Dortmund, Germany, on Nov. 23, 2015. The 45m-high tree was built with 1,700 spruces and is a main attraction during advent season. (Source: AP)

On Nov. 27, 2015, this tree set a Guinness World Record for the most lights on an artificial Christmas tree in Canberra, Australia. Australian David Richards set his third Christmas-themed world record in as many years by illuminating a tree in downtown Canberra with 518,838 twinkling lights. Guinness World Records confirmed that Richards had broken the record for the most lights on an artificial Christmas tree that had been held for five years by Universal Studios Japan in Osaka. (Source: AP)

Two police officers patrol on the Viennese Christmas Market with the Viennese city hall in Vienna, Austria, on Nov. 27, 2015. In the wake of the Paris attacks fewer visitors than in other years come to the market. (Source: AP)

A police car stands in front of Viennese city hall with the Christmas tree and the Viennese Christmas Market in Vienna, Austria. The market is a huge tourist attraction each year, with thousands of visitors coming in to see the lights and decorations. (Source: AP)

The buildings around the Grand Place are illuminated during the opening of the Christmas Market in Brussels, Belgium, on Nov. 27, 2015. Brussels lowered its terror alert from four to three. (Source: AP)

A person dressed in a Frosty mascot costume waves as he looks out from under his mask, during a Christmas parade in La Paz, Bolivia, on Nov. 28, 2015.(Source: AP)

Women dressed as elves dance as they take part in a Christmas parade, in La Paz, Bolivia, on Nov. 28, 2015. (Source: AP)

Timber-framed buildings are illuminated in front of a tower setup as a giant candle in Schlitz, Germany, 28 November 2015. The 36m-high tower is the main attraction of the Christmas market in the town of Schlitz in the German state of Hesse. (Source: AP)

The moon rises behind Germany's biggest Christmas at the traditional Christmas market in Dortmund, Germany, on Nov. 23, 2015. The 45m-high tree was built with 1,700 spruces and is a main attraction during advent season. (Source: AP)

Policemen patrol at the Christmas market in Kassel, central Germany, on Nov. 23, 2015. Germany increased security measures following the Paris attacks. (Source: AP)

The National Christmas tree during a lighting ceremony at Cathedral square in Vilnius, Lithuania, Friday, Nov. 27, 2015. (Source: AP)

People in an adjacent hotel look out at the Christmas lights at the Country Club Plaza shopping centre on Nov. 26, 2015, in Kansas City, USA. The annual Thanksgiving day lighting ceremony at the center normally draws thousands of onlookers but this year was hampered by cold rain. (Source: AP)

A crane lifts a 25m-tall Christmas tree coming from Bavaria, Germany, in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, on Nov. 19, 2015. (Source: AP)