Dazzling Holiday Lights

Totally tacky or spectacularly beautiful, extravagant and ostentatious light displays are a true sign of the holiday season.

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Christmas in Salzburg, Austria
Christmas in Salzburg, Austria

Christmas in Salzburg, Austria

The squares and streets of Salzburg, Austria, come alive with the sound of Christmas music during the festive holiday season. In Cathedral and Residence squares, you’ll find stalls, shops and street performers. 960 1280

www.austria.info  

Christmas in Salzburg, Austria

Christmas in Salzburg, Austria

The musical town of Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart and setting for The Sound of Music, celebrates the Christmas season with plenty of music and carols amid the festive holiday shopping. 960 1280

www.austria.info  

Cologne Christmas Market

Cologne Christmas Market

With 7 separate Christmas markets, the Cologne Christmas Market, nestled amid the town's landmark cathedral and Old Town Hall, attracts 2 million visitors annually. 960 1280

www.koelnerwelhnachtsmarkt.com  

Cologne Christmas Market

Cologne Christmas Market

The Cologne Christmas Market showcases 160 wooden stalls, helmed by merchants selling wares such as classic holiday ornaments, wooden decorations and children's toys, as well as plenty of snacks and warm, spiced wine. 960 1280

Hannah Swithinbank, flickr  

Prague's Old Town Square

Prague's Old Town Square

Prague's Old Town Square is home to the city’s annual Christmas market, complete with an illuminated tree -- the centerpiece of plenty of holiday cheer that runs from late November through the first days of the New Year. 960 1280

Reuters  

Prague Christmas

Prague Christmas

Prague's wooden stalls bring Bohemian crystal, wooden toys and tasty food to the masses, plus the chance to pet a few live animals like these hungry llamas. 960 1280

Reuters  

Dresden's Christmas market, the Striezelmarkt

Dresden's Christmas market, the Striezelmarkt

Dresden's Christmas market, the Striezelmarkt, has been a holiday tradition since 1434, making it Germany's oldest Christmas fair. Check out market’s centerpiece attraction -- the world's tallest Christmas candle pyramid, more than 45 feet tall. 960 1280

Reuters  

Dresden's Christmas market

Dresden's Christmas market

You’ll find shopping galore at Dresden's Christmas market, with holiday decorations, toys and unique handicrafts in the city's historic district. 960 1280

iStock  

Nuremberg's Christkindlesmarkt

Nuremberg's Christkindlesmarkt

Nuremberg's Christkindlesmarkt is a grand affair that beckons nearly 2 million visitors annually from around the world, many of them children ready to enjoy the festival rides and tasty snacks. 960 1280

Nuremberg Tourism; Uli Kowatsch  

Nuremberg's Christkindlesmarkt

Nuremberg's Christkindlesmarkt

Nuremberg's Christkindlesmarkt takes place in the city’s Main Market Square. As one of the largest Christmas markets in Germany, the event features some 180 booths selling Christmas goods such as mulled wine, spicy gingerbread and roast sausages. 960 1280

Nuremberg Tourism; Uli Kowatsch  

Copenhagen Christmas at Tivoli Gardens

Copenhagen Christmas at Tivoli Gardens

Copenhagen hosts a Christmas market with a twist at the city's famous Tivoli Gardens, the second oldest amusement park in the world. 960 1280
Christmas in Tivoli

Christmas in Tivoli

For a small fee, Christmas in Tivoli offers the classic market experience, combined with amusement park rides like swings and carousels, as well as live entertainment. 960 1280

Esben Theis Jensen, flickr  

Rockefeller Plaza
Rockefeller Plaza

Rockefeller Plaza

Thousands of people converge on Rockefeller Plaza to visit and snap photos of the awe-inspiring beauty of this 80-foot-tall Christmas tree, meticulously decorated with 45,000 LED lights. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Sixth Avenue Decorations

Sixth Avenue Decorations

See New York City come alive with holiday spirit and go Christmas crazy with some of the biggest and brightest light displays, including this one on Sixth Avenue. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Empire State Building

Empire State Building

From high above, Manhattan’s skyline glows even brighter with the Empire State Building shining bright with red and green lights. 960 1280

iStock  

Radio City Music Hall

Radio City Music Hall

Kick off your NYC holiday tour here! We can’t think of a better way to celebrate the Rockettes 86th anniversary than to see the women kick up their heels at their annual Christmas show at Radio City Music Hall. 960 1280

Romer Pedron  

Bloomingdale's

Bloomingdale's

Located at 1000 3rd Avenue, on the Upper East Side, Bloomingdale’s department store chooses classic white lights to illuminate their storefront during the holidays. 960 1280

Romer Pedron  

Macy's Believe Campaign

Macy's Believe Campaign

As part of its 6th annual “Believe” campaign, Macy’s is encouraging kids all across the country to drop off a letter to Santa at their local Macy’s Santa mailbox. For each stamped letter dropped in the letterbox through Christmas Eve, Macy’s will donate $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, to help grant wishes to children who have life-threatening diseases. 960 1280

Romer Pedron  

Christmas in NYC  14 Photos

London
London

London

Father Christmas and Mrs. Claus wave to the crowds during Harrods’ Annual Christmas Parade in London. 960 1280

Steve Finn/Harrods via Getty Images  

Kanagawa, Japan

Kanagawa, Japan

Santa Claus has no boundaries when it comes to spreading holiday cheer. He swims with a dolphin at Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. 960 1280

Junko Kimura/Getty Images  

Washington, DC

Washington, DC

Santa Claus must be equipped to travel through all types of weather. In this case, St. Nicholas dons water skis to glide across the Potomac River at the National Harbor. Through the magic of modern technology, it’s amazing how someone with a camera always happens to snap a photo of Santa’s daring waterskiing adventure on Christmas Eve each year. 960 1280

Mark Wilson/Getty Images  

Stavropol, Russia

Stavropol, Russia

Father Frost, aka Santa Claus, and his granddaughter Snegurochka the Snowmaid (center) visit a city park to meet and entertain residents in Stavropol, a city in southern Russia. Russians traditionally celebrate the coming of the New Year on December 31 and Orthodox Christmas in January. 960 1280

Reuters/Eduard Korniyenko  

Krasnoyarsk, Russia

Krasnoyarsk, Russia

A child and Father Frost pet an Evenki reindeer at the Christmas Food Fair in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. Peasants, farmers, fishermen and hunters sell their crafts, goods and products at the city’s annual fair. 960 1280

Reuters/Ilya Naymushin  

Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii

In Honolulu, HI, Santa Claus throws up the customary "shaka" sign from his canoe while sharing a wave with a surfer near Waikiki Beach. 960 1280

Reuters  

New York City

New York City

Dozens of Santas ring their bells while marching through Midtown Manhattan during the Volunteers of America's Annual Sidewalk Santa Parade. Fifty fully-suited Santas take to the streets of Manhattan the morning after Thanksgiving to raise money for those in need. 960 1280

Reuters/Adrees Latif  

Cook, Australia

Cook, Australia

Santa Claus poses in front of the Great Southern Railway’s Indian Pacific, in Cook, Australia. The train makes a 2,704-mile trip between Sydney and Perth twice a week -- crossing the world's longest stretch of straight railway track on the Nullarbor Plain. 960 1280

Ashlee Ralla/Getty Images  

Valparaiso, Chile

Valparaiso, Chile

Santa waves to people from a boat along the coast of Valparaiso, about 75 miles northwest of Santiago, Chile. Every year, fishermen in Valparaiso organize a Santa Claus boat trip to bring Christmas gifts and well wishes to people waiting on the shore. 960 1280

Reuters/Eliseo Fernandez  

Seoul, South Korea

Seoul, South Korea

In Seoul, South Korea, postmen dress up as Santa Claus and ride motorcycles to deliver the mail. Christmas has become increasingly popular over the years in South Korea, which is the only East Asian country to recognize Christmas as a national holiday. 960 1280

Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images  

Yenisei River, Russia

Yenisei River, Russia

Along Russia’s Yenisei River, Santa can be spotted traveling on self-made water skis made of plastic foam. The sticks are designed to propel ole St. Nick forward. 960 1280

Reuters/Ilya Naymushin  

Manila, Philippines

Manila, Philippines

Santa -- also a professional diver -- gestures at a visitor inside a giant aquarium as part of a Christmas celebration at the Manila Ocean Park. The Philippines, a mainly Roman Catholic country in Southeast Asia, prepares for Christmas early. In fact, shopping malls begin playing Christmas carols in September, while the decorations, including lanterns and fireworks, go up in early December. 960 1280

Reuters/Romeo Ranoco  

Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy

Santa Claus distributes candy from a special Christmas gondola in the canal city of Venice, Italy. 960 1280

Reuters  

Klampenborg, Denmark

Klampenborg, Denmark

More than 150 people donning Santa suits converge on Bakken amusement park in Sweden to attend the World Santa Claus Congress. Bakken, the world’s oldest operating amusement park is located near Klampenborg, Denmark. 960 1280

Reuters/Casper Christoffersen  

Gallivare, Sweden

Gallivare, Sweden

Santas from Sweden (right) and Spain (left) race on their sleighs during a competition in the Santa Claus Winter Games in Gallivare, a town in northern Sweden. Santas from all over the world compete in typical Santa sports, including chimney climbing, porridge eating, kick sledding and reindeer racing. 960 1280

Reuters/Pawel Kopczynski Odly  


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