Christmas Around the World

From Finland's Santa Claus Village to Australia's Bondi Beach party, see how other countries celebrate Christmas.

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Wiener Christkindlmarkt
Wiener Christkindlmarkt

Wiener Christkindlmarkt

Wiener Christkindlmarkt
Travel to Vienna, Austria, to explore the Wiener Christkinlmarkt. This traditional Christmas market, located in City Hall Square, has 145 stalls selling spiced wine, gingerbread, unique arts and crafts and much more.
960 1280

Wiener Christkindlmarkt  

Christmas Mariachi Festival

Christmas Mariachi Festival

Christmas Mariachi Festival
Mariachi bands heat things up in Phoenix, AZ, during the holidays. This annual festival features the best, well-known mariachi singers and bands from Latin America, including Jose Feliciano and Vikki Carr.
960 1280

Christmas Mariachi Festival  

Miami's White Party Week

Miami's White Party Week

White Party Week
Experience the Miami Beach lifestyle, and enjoy good food and drink during 6 days of all-male and all-female parties, including the Women’s White Party Weekend. Party-goers spend money that goes to Care Resource, a organization that funds multiple HIV/AIDS programs.
960 1280

R. Davis, Care Resource  

Chicago's Magnificent Mile Festival of Lights

Chicago's Magnificent Mile Festival of Lights

Magnificent Mile Festival of Lights
If you’re visiting Chicago during the holidays, check out this illuminated festival. It’s known for its holiday-inspired store window displays, and its star-studded Disney procession on opening day. Be sure to get a front row seat to see the parade, live music and fireworks.
960 1280

Stanley Wlodkowski  

Catalan Christmas Fair

Catalan Christmas Fair

Catalan Christmas Fair
This fair, held outside of the Barcelona Cathedral, has 300 stalls selling seasonal goods, including Catalan nativity figures, mistletoe, Christmas trees and delicious treats like Christmas biscuits.
960 1280

Catalan Christmas Fair  

Key West Shoe Drop

Key West Shoe Drop

Key West Sushi Drop
Celebrate your New Year’s Eve in Key West, watching a campy, extravagantly dressed drag queen being lowered from the Bourbon Street Pub, in a large, red, high-heel shoe. Once the drag queen has dropped, ring in the New Year at the fabulous block party.
960 1280

Reuters  

Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival

Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival

Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival
It’s 1 of the largest ice festivals in the world, and it attracts 1,000s of people to Northeastern China, to see snow carvings, ice sculptures, fireworks. There’s also skiing, ice sliding and swimming, for those who can take the chilly, subzero dip in the Songhua River.
960 1280

Reuters  

Taste of Christmas

Taste of Christmas

Taste of Christmas
This annual event in London has the UK’s leading chefs demonstrate their techniques for holiday food preparation. There are also special tasting workshops for wine, cheese and chocolate.
960 1280

Taste of Christmas  

Melbourne's Midsumma

Melbourne's Midsumma

Melbourne's Midsumma
This annual LGBT arts and culture festival celebrates queer arts with exhibitions, musical and theater performances, live bands, picnics, dance parties and sporting events.
960 1280

Vivian Ward  

New Year's Eve at Copacabana Beach

New Year's Eve at Copacabana Beach

Rio’s Copacabana Beach
Spend New Year’s Eve on Copacabana Beach, Brazil’s 2nd largest event outside of Carnival. Dance to live DJs, sip champagne at midnight, celebrate African traditions, watch fireworks and don't forget to wear white. Brazilians believe it symbolizes good luck.
960 1280

Getty  

GFest/Gaywise Festival

GFest/Gaywise Festival

Gaywise Festival
GFest, organized by Wise Thoughts, is London’s annual arts festival, featuring leading and upcoming LGBT and queer artists. It includes musical performances, dance, visual arts, theater, LGBT short films, debates, workshops and parties.
960 1280

Santhosh Chandran/Stoo Iresen  

Amsterdam's Pink Christmas

Amsterdam's Pink Christmas

Pink Christmas
Hit the ice skating rink donned in gay apparel. Amsterdam’s Pink Christmas festival is a special holiday celebration for the LGBT community. Some of the events and activities include ice skating at Rembradtplein, a catwalk fashion show on Zeedijk Street and discounts at local gay bars and shops.
960 1280

ProGay  

Christmas tree in Waitangi Park in Wellington, New Zealand
Christmas tree in Waitangi Park in Wellington, New Zealand

Christmas tree in Waitangi Park in Wellington, New Zealand

Is it just us or is this Christmas tree in Waitangi Park in Wellington, New Zealand, one of the tallest displays you've even seen? 960 1280

Aidan on flickr  

Holiday display on 34th street in Baltimore

Holiday display on 34th street in Baltimore

The Grinch, Frosty and some toy soldiers are all celebrating the holidays on 34th Street in Baltimore. 960 1280

Kathleen Conklin, flickr  

Christmas Light Tour in VA

Christmas Light Tour in VA

Is there even a house under all that? 960 1280

Katie Dwyer  

San Antonio Texas Riverwalk

San Antonio Texas Riverwalk

Make your spirits bright with a walk down the San Antonio Riverwalk. 960 1280

Rod Eubanks, flickr  

Decorations at London's Peter Jones store

Decorations at London's Peter Jones store

Get a bird's-eye view of the decorations at London's Peter Jones store. 960 1280

Monica Arellano-Ongpin, flickr  

Holiday lights in San Carlos, CA

Holiday lights in San Carlos, CA

This house in San Carlos, CA, has got to have a huge electric bill. 960 1280

Ed Bierman, flickr  

Christmas Tree in Union Square San Francisco

Christmas Tree in Union Square San Francisco

A beautiful Christmas tree towers over the Macy's store in San Francisco's Union Square. 960 1280

Jenny Pascual  

Christmas display on Orchard Road in Singapore

Christmas display on Orchard Road in Singapore

This Christmas display on Orchard Road in Singapore sends out holiday wishes to all. 960 1280

Eustaquio Santimano, flickr  

Kermit and Miss Piggy holiday display

Kermit and Miss Piggy holiday display

Here's one thing that Kermit and Miss Piggy agree on: Christmas rules on Alameda Island's Christmas Tree Lane. 960 1280

  

Christmas display at mid valley

Christmas display at mid valley

It's a candy wonderland! 960 1280

Shirley, flickr  

Trees lit up at the Lincoln Zoo in Chicago

Trees lit up at the Lincoln Zoo in Chicago

The trees of the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago are illuminated with a rainbow of colors. 960 1280

  

Christmas in Knightsbridge

Christmas in Knightsbridge

That is one big tree for a balcony. Guess that's how they celebrate Christmas in Knightsbridge! 960 1280

gorfor, flickr  

Holiday decorations in Bucharest, Romania

Holiday decorations in Bucharest, Romania

Holiday decorations in Bucharest ... we are sensing a trend with Christmas trees on balconies and roofs. 960 1280

Nicu Buculei, flickr  

Detailed Christmas decorations

Detailed Christmas decorations

Santa, his reindeer and elves make a pit stop at this house. 960 1280

Casey Fleser, flickr  

Santa roof decoration

Santa roof decoration

After a little rest, Santa and the gang are off again. Rudolph leads the way with his shiny nose. 960 1280

Ed Bierman, flickr  

Steve Di Schiavi's decorated house

Steve Di Schiavi's decorated house

The Dead Files' detective Steve Di Schiavi shares his decorated house with us. 960 1280

  

Decorated house in Wilmington, DE

Decorated house in Wilmington, DE

Here's another house that must have a high electric bill. Hope power is cheap in Wilmington, DE. 960 1280

Allee Sangiolo  

Light up house in VA

Light up house in VA

Wait, wait, you missed a spot. Get some more lights out here! 960 1280

Katie Dwyer  

Photos

10 Photos
Santa Comes to Town

Santa Comes to Town

Every year the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade ends with Santa coming to a stop in front of the department store on 6th Ave, marking the beginning of the Christmas season in the Big Apple. Come explore some of the timeless traditions of Christmas in New York City. 960 1280

Eric Liebowitz / NBC / NBC NewsWire / Getty Images  

Wollman Rink in Central Park

Wollman Rink in Central Park

Make the best of New York City's cold weather and enjoy ice skating at Wollman Rink in Central Park (on the east side between 62nd and 63rd Streets). 960 1280

Miguel Sanz / Moment Open / Getty Images  

Empire State Building

Empire State Building

At the center of the iconic NYC skyline sits the Empire State Building. During the months of November and December, the top of the building is lit up with red and green lights to celebrate christmas. The first lighting each year coincides with the opening night for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. 960 1280

Stuart Monk / iStock / Getty Images Plus  

The Rockettes

The Rockettes

Speaking of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, don’t miss out on seeing the Rockettes’ show-stopping leg kick precision chorus line 5 days a week during the holidays at Radio City Music Hall.

 

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Mike Pont / WireImage / Getty Images  

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Started in 1933, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree has become a timeless tradition for New Yorkers and tourists alike. The tree is on average between 69 and 100 feet tall, and its lighting ceremony is accompanied with a live broadcast in early December. 960 1280

Rob Young from United Kingdom (Christmas @ Rockefeller Plaza) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

5th Avenue Holiday Window Displays

5th Avenue Holiday Window Displays

Shopping in NYC during the holidays can be a nightmare due to the tourist-packed streets. But there is definitely a redeeming quality to making the trek into the crowds: holiday window displays! Every year in mid-November, the biggest department stores in New York City create one-of-a-kind presentations of holiday-cheer in their exterior windows, usually with an original theme or throw-back to years past. (Shown here: one of Macy's Herald Square 2014 holiday window displays). 960 1280

Ben Hider / Getty Images  

Gigantic Holiday Cheer

Gigantic Holiday Cheer

Giant ornaments are displayed annually during the holidays at different locations in NYC, including Rockefeller Center (across the street from Radio City Music Hall) on 6th Avenue. 960 1280

Roff Bruderer / Blend Images / Getty Images  

Union Square Holiday Market

Union Square Holiday Market

Open yearly from mid-November to Christmas Eve, the Union Square Holiday Market is the perfect place to get unique handmade gifts for everyone on your list. 960 1280
Sledding in the City

Sledding in the City

If weather trends stay on course for New York City, you'll want to prepare yourself for some major snow this holiday season. Take advantage of the wintery weather and join the fun at any of the dozen local parks for some sledding! Prospect Park in Brooklyn (pictured here) or Central Park in Manhattan are classic locations to enjoy some slip-sliding fun. 960 1280

Spencer Platt / Getty Images  

Dyker Heights Holiday Lights

Dyker Heights Holiday Lights

For a look at what happens in the boroughs during the holidays, take a trip to Dyker Heights in Brooklyn and tour their annual holiday decorations. The residents won’t label it a competition, but it’s hard not to see it that way when each new year brings bigger and brighter displays. 960 1280
PNC Festival of Lights at Cincinnati Zoo

PNC Festival of Lights at Cincinnati Zoo

Strolling entertainment awaits visitors to Cincinnati Zoo's Festival of Lights, who will also be privy to a "Wild Lights" show at Swan Lake and a black-light puppet show. It's possible to see the lights from aboard the North Polar Express Train, and pay a visit with Santa -- and Mrs. Claus. 960 1280

  

Wildlights at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Wildlights at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

More than 3 million lights spread holiday cheer to adults and children at the Wildlights celebration. Kids can decorate cookies with Mrs. Claus and get photos with Santa; it's even possible to take a camel ride or whirl around an ice skating rink. 960 1280

Grahm S. Jones  

Zoo Lights 2015 at Denver Zoo

Zoo Lights 2015 at Denver Zoo

The Denver Zoo's holiday light safari leads visitors through 38 acres of dazzling light displays, including more than 150 animal sculptures that leap across lawns, dangle from trees and appear in the most unexpected places. You'll even hear holiday songs from children's and handbell choirs. 960 1280

  

Zoo Lights at Utah's Hogle Zoo

Zoo Lights at Utah's Hogle Zoo

You'll feel festive amidst the 250 illuminated sculptures and displays at Utah's Hogle Zoo. Walk through the 135-foot twinkling tunnel while wearing hologram glasses before riding the carousel or telling Santa what you'd like for Christmas at Santa Station -- with real, live reindeer. 960 1280

  

Lights Before Christmas at Toledo Zoo

Lights Before Christmas at Toledo Zoo

Millions of lights deck the halls -- and trees and lawns -- at the Toledo Zoo, included a dancing lights display near Cheetah Valley. The celebration is marked by carolers, live reindeer, and a glowing ice slide, as well as a buffet-style Festive Feast in The Lodge. 960 1280

  

Houston Zoo Lights

Houston Zoo Lights

Millions of holiday lights are draped in displays throughout the Houston Zoo, and visitors can experience the world from inside a life-size snow globe or stroll through the illuminated African Forest past enormous glowing ornaments. Carolers sing nightly at the Reflecting Pool stage. 960 1280

  

Los Angeles Zoo Lights

Los Angeles Zoo Lights

Those aren't the flashes of LA's paparazzi cameras -- its simply LA's Zoo Lights, designed by Bionic League, who have created light shows for Daft Punk and Kanye West (only in LA, right?). The park fills with LED-sculptures and lasers that visitors can see on a 90-minute self-guided tour. 960 1280

  

SunTrust Zoo Lights at Memphis Zoo

SunTrust Zoo Lights at Memphis Zoo

There's guaranteed to be "snow" at the Memphis Zoo's holiday display; folks looking to see the white stuff can visit Snow Alley, or take a stroll past twinkling light displays to meet Santa in his shop, and even get a peek at his helpful reindeer friends. There's even a Zoo on Ice performance. 960 1280

DONNY_GRANGER  

ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo

ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo

More than 2 million lights dazzle ZooLights visitors at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo, and the zoo has made the event an extravaganza beyond the twinkling lumens. Visitors can take a spin around the park's ice skating rink, snap photos with Santa, and watch "arctic artists" carve ice sculptures. 960 1280

Todd Rosenberg  

ZooLights at Oregon Zoo

ZooLights at Oregon Zoo

Ride through the Oregon Zoo in twinkling style aboard the ZooLights train, past more than a million sparkling lights. You'll see tunnels of light near the African Rainforest and can warm up with hot chocolate and the zoo's signature elephant ear treats from vendors along the ZooLights path. 960 1280

  

Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

Zoolights at Point Defiance bedazzle the Pacific Northwest with more than 500,000 LED lights and animal-themed displays, including a 3-D light display of an entire polar bear family. Visitors can take spin on the zoo'z antique carousel and see scuba diving Santa at the aquarium. 960 1280

  

ZooLights at National Zoo

ZooLights at National Zoo

Visitors to the National Zoo will feel the electrified as more than 500,000 environmentally friendly LED lights fill the park with a sparkly glow. You can warm up with hot chocolate or watch the nightly live performances, while little ones can take a spin on 150-foot-long "snow tubing" tracks. 960 1280

JAMES D JENKINS  

Jungle Bells at San Diego Zoo

Jungle Bells at San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo transforms into a Winter Wonderland, and you can admire the lighted animal sculptures while riding the Twinkle Light Trolley through the zoo. You'll hear Dr. Zoolittle's version of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," hear carolers  sing and gape at Toy Shop Hop acrobats. 960 1280

Photo: Ken Bohn  

ZooLights at Phoenix Zoo

ZooLights at Phoenix Zoo

Feel the glow at the Phoenix Zoo's celebration of nearly 4 million lights, where in addition to the glowing displays, visitors can also experience The Polar Express in 4-D, with special effects like snow and fog. Ice sculptors carve a 300-lb. block of ice and the zoo even has camel and wagon rides. 960 1280

  

Wild Lights at St. Louis Zoo

Wild Lights at St. Louis Zoo

The St. Louis Zoo comes to life after dark with animated Wild Lights displays like the Arctic Wonderland, Swan Lake and fantasy butterfly garden illuminating the property. Storytellers like Tundra Tom spin tales around a fire as visitors stay warming sipping hot cocoa. 960 1280

  

Wiener Christkindlmarkt

Wiener Christkindlmarkt

Wiener Christkindlmarkt
Travel to Vienna, Austria, to explore the Wiener Christkinlmarkt. This traditional Christmas market, located in City Hall Square, has 145 stalls selling spiced wine, gingerbread, unique arts and crafts and much more.
960 1280

Wiener Christkindlmarkt  

Christmas Mariachi Festival

Christmas Mariachi Festival

Christmas Mariachi Festival
Mariachi bands heat things up in Phoenix, AZ, during the holidays. This annual festival features the best, well-known mariachi singers and bands from Latin America, including Jose Feliciano and Vikki Carr.
960 1280

Christmas Mariachi Festival  

Miami's White Party Week

Miami's White Party Week

White Party Week
Experience the Miami Beach lifestyle, and enjoy good food and drink during 6 days of all-male and all-female parties, including the Women’s White Party Weekend. Party-goers spend money that goes to Care Resource, a organization that funds multiple HIV/AIDS programs.
960 1280

R. Davis, Care Resource  

Chicago's Magnificent Mile Festival of Lights

Chicago's Magnificent Mile Festival of Lights

Magnificent Mile Festival of Lights
If you’re visiting Chicago during the holidays, check out this illuminated festival. It’s known for its holiday-inspired store window displays, and its star-studded Disney procession on opening day. Be sure to get a front row seat to see the parade, live music and fireworks.
960 1280

Stanley Wlodkowski  

Catalan Christmas Fair

Catalan Christmas Fair

Catalan Christmas Fair
This fair, held outside of the Barcelona Cathedral, has 300 stalls selling seasonal goods, including Catalan nativity figures, mistletoe, Christmas trees and delicious treats like Christmas biscuits.
960 1280

Catalan Christmas Fair  

Key West Shoe Drop

Key West Shoe Drop

Key West Sushi Drop
Celebrate your New Year’s Eve in Key West, watching a campy, extravagantly dressed drag queen being lowered from the Bourbon Street Pub, in a large, red, high-heel shoe. Once the drag queen has dropped, ring in the New Year at the fabulous block party.
960 1280

Reuters  

Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival

Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival

Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival
It’s 1 of the largest ice festivals in the world, and it attracts 1,000s of people to Northeastern China, to see snow carvings, ice sculptures, fireworks. There’s also skiing, ice sliding and swimming, for those who can take the chilly, subzero dip in the Songhua River.
960 1280

Reuters  

Taste of Christmas

Taste of Christmas

Taste of Christmas
This annual event in London has the UK’s leading chefs demonstrate their techniques for holiday food preparation. There are also special tasting workshops for wine, cheese and chocolate.
960 1280

Taste of Christmas  

Melbourne's Midsumma

Melbourne's Midsumma

Melbourne's Midsumma
This annual LGBT arts and culture festival celebrates queer arts with exhibitions, musical and theater performances, live bands, picnics, dance parties and sporting events.
960 1280

Vivian Ward  

New Year's Eve at Copacabana Beach

New Year's Eve at Copacabana Beach

Rio’s Copacabana Beach
Spend New Year’s Eve on Copacabana Beach, Brazil’s 2nd largest event outside of Carnival. Dance to live DJs, sip champagne at midnight, celebrate African traditions, watch fireworks and don't forget to wear white. Brazilians believe it symbolizes good luck.
960 1280

Getty  

GFest/Gaywise Festival

GFest/Gaywise Festival

Gaywise Festival
GFest, organized by Wise Thoughts, is London’s annual arts festival, featuring leading and upcoming LGBT and queer artists. It includes musical performances, dance, visual arts, theater, LGBT short films, debates, workshops and parties.
960 1280

Santhosh Chandran/Stoo Iresen  

Amsterdam's Pink Christmas

Amsterdam's Pink Christmas

Pink Christmas
Hit the ice skating rink donned in gay apparel. Amsterdam’s Pink Christmas festival is a special holiday celebration for the LGBT community. Some of the events and activities include ice skating at Rembradtplein, a catwalk fashion show on Zeedijk Street and discounts at local gay bars and shops.
960 1280

ProGay  

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