Christmas Crazy

Go "Christmas Crazy" with a German-style market, a gingerbread house competition and the brightest light displays, plus the coolest ice sculptures and the most extreme Santas on Earth.

Photos

Israel: Sukkot

Israel: Sukkot

Sukkot (Feast of Booths or Feast of Tabernacles) is a biblical holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the month of Tishrei, which is between late September and late October. On this special occasion, Jewish people reflect on how the Israelites felt during their 40 years of travel in the desert after the exodus from slavery in Egypt, as referenced in the Bible. The 7-day tradition includes special prayer services and holiday meals. 960 1280

Reuters  

Canada: Jour de l'Action de Grâce

Canada: Jour de l'Action de Grâce

Canadians celebrate Jour de l'Action de Grâce, aka Thanksgiving Day, on the second Monday in October. Similar to the American Thanksgiving, people in Canada reserve this time to celebrate the harvest and other blessing of the past year. And Canucks enjoy a good feast, too. During the holiday weekend, most families have the big Thanksgiving meal on Sunday or on Monday. 960 1280

Monkey Business Images  

Korea: Chuseok

Korea: Chuseok

Chuseok, a major harvest festival and 3-day holiday in Korea, is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar. Koreans return to their hometowns to perform traditional rituals in the morning to remember their ancestors. Family members also visit and clean up the area around the tombs of their immediate ancestors, before offering food, drink and crops to their lost loved ones.  Japchae, bulgogi and songpyeon (a crescent-shaped rice cake) are popular foods prepared during the holiday. 960 1280

riNux, Flickr  

Vietnam: Tết Trung Thu Festival

Vietnam: Tết Trung Thu Festival

In Vietnam, people celebrate the Tết Trung Thu Festival (Mid-Autumn Festival) in September or in early October. This fall celebration is also known as the Children’s Festival. The Vietnamese believe children are symbols of innocence and purity -- the closest connection to the sacred and natural world. Children light lanterns and perform lion dances as part of the celebration. This is the second most important holiday tradition in Vietnam. 960 1280

Viethavvh, Wikimedia Commons  

UK: London's Harvest Festival

UK: London's Harvest Festival

Locals and tourists with “green thumbs” converge on London to stroll through the city’s Harvest Festival in October. Organized by the Royal Horticultural Society, this festival has several fun activities including the Fruit & Vegetable Competition, which highlights the UK’s best growers and their best produce. Gardening tips, apple tasting and a giant pumpkin contest are other featured events held during the 2-day festival. 960 1280

Reuters  

Ghana: Homowo Festival

Ghana: Homowo Festival

Ga people celebrate Homowo, a festival to commemorate the pre-colonial famine that occurred in Ghana. The festival starts in May during the planting of the crops -- just before the rainy season begins. The celebration includes marching in the streets with drums, face painting, singing and performing traditional dances, like the Kpanlogo. 960 1280

Reuters  

Germany: Erntedankfest

Germany: Erntedankfest

Although it’s not an official holiday, Germans celebrate Erntedankfest (The Harvest of Thanks) on the first Sunday in October. Usually a church-organized celebration, this harvest festival includes several fun activities including a Thanksgiving parade and carnival with elaborate decorations made from harvested fruits and vegetables. 960 1280

madle-fotowelt.de, flickr  

China: August Moon Festival

China: August Moon Festival

Celebrated in China, the August Moon Festival is a 1,000-year-old tradition for the Chinese to reflect on the bounty of the summer harvest, the fullness of the moon and the myth of the immortal goddess, Chang O, who lives in the moon. Millions of Mooncakes -- flaky, round, semi-sweet pastries -- are given as gifts during this celebration. The festival is often thought of as “Chinese Thanksgiving” because of its spirit of gratitude and abundant food. 960 1280

Shizhao, Wikimedia Commons  

India: Pongal

India: Pongal

Pongal is a 4-day festival celebrated January 12th through the 15th, to mark the beginning of the end of the winter season in India. The second day, Surya Pongal, is the most important day of the festival. On this day, people throw their old clothes into the fire, have an oil massage and then wear new clothes, to worship Surya, the sun god. During the festival, cattle are bathed, dressed and served pongal (rice boiled in milk), women of the house perform puja for the prosperity of their brothers, and families decorate their floor with decorative patterns using rice flour. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Barbados: Crop Over

Barbados: Crop Over

The Crop Over, a traditional harvest festival in Barbados, features singing, dancing, climbing a greased pole, feasting, drinking competitions and a calypso music competition. The celebration starts in June and ends on the first Monday in August. With street parties, craft markets, food tents, Crop Over has evolved into Barbados’ biggest national festival -- similar to Carnival in Brazil and Trinidad. 960 1280

Getty Images  

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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ProGay  

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  

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