Diwali Around the World

As we move into winter, India’s biggest holiday lights the way with a celebration of light over darkness. Light a candle, and join us on a tour of Diwali around the world.

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Hanukkah in Jerusalem’s Old City
Jerusalem’s Old City

Jerusalem’s Old City

A Hanukkah menorah (also known as a “chanukiah”) glows in front of the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site, in Jerusalem's Old City. The 8-day festival commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the 2nd century B.C. 960 1280

Reuters/Ronen Zvulun  

Mumbai, India

Mumbai, India

The father of a slain rabbi's wife lights a menorah in front of the landmark Gateway of India monument in Mumbai, a month after militants attacked several sites in the city, including a Jewish cultural center, back in 2008. Mumbai is currently home to 8 synagogues. Plans are underway to rebuild the Jewish center.
960 1280

Pal Pillai/ AFP/ Getty Images  

Washington, DC

Washington, DC

A menorah stands on the White House Ellipse during the annual national Hanukkah menorah-lighting ceremony in Washington, DC. In 1979, Jimmy Carter became the first US president to participate in a public Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony on the National Mall. Later, President Bill Clinton led the first ceremony of its kind inside the White House. 960 1280

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images  

NYC

NYC

Head to NYC to see the world’s largest Hanukkah menorah -- 32 feet high and weighing 4,000 pounds. The 9-branched, gold-colored steel candelabrum stands on Fifth Avenue and 59th Street, across from Central Park, during the holiday, and was designed by contemporary Israeli artist Yaacov Agam. 960 1280

Chris Hondros/Getty Images  

Berlin

Berlin

Rabbis Shmuel Segal and Yehuda Teichtal of the Jewish Orthodox group Chabad help erect a menorah in front of Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate on Dec. 7, 2012, ahead of Hanukkah celebrations. These days, Berlin is seeing a resurgence of Jewish life, including an estimated 20,000 Israelis. 960 1280

Reuters/Thomas Peter   

Paris

Paris

With the Eiffel Tower in the background, the chief rabbi of France (right) and the Israeli ambassador to France (center), prepare to light a menorah on Dec. 20, 2011, at the Champs de Mars in Paris. These days, France is home to nearly 500,000 Jews. 960 1280

Mehdi Fedouach/AFP/Getty Images   

London’s Trafalgar Square

London’s Trafalgar Square

London’s Trafalgar Square glows from the light of a giant menorah, as a crowd watches the festivities unfold. The lighting ceremony is an annual event in this central London space, in a city that’s home to roughly 250,000 Jews. 960 1280

Reuters/Luke MacGregor   

South Beach Miami

South Beach Miami

A menorah made out of … seashells? Yep, that’s right. This towering creation -- made of more than 10,000 seashells, each personally collected by the artist himself -- was the handiwork of jazz musician Roger Abramson. 960 1280

Wally Gobetz, flickr  

Photos

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  

Sydney

Sydney

Fireworks explode above the Sydney Harbor Bridge and Opera House. Thousands of people lined the harbor to watch the country's biggest fireworks show. 960 1280
Rotterdam, Netherlands

Rotterdam, Netherlands

New Year's Eve fireworks illuminate the sky over the Erasmus Bridge crossing the Nieuwe Maas River in Rotterdam, the second largest city in the Netherlands. 960 1280

Reuters  

Berlin

Berlin

An explosion of fireworks light up the Quadriga sculpture atop the Brandenburg Gate during a New Year's Eve party in Berlin. 960 1280

Reuters/Tobias Schwarz  

New York City

New York City

At NYC’s Times Square, confetti rains down on thousands of revelers celebrate the beginning of a new year at the stroke of midnight. 960 1280

Reuters/ Kena Betancur   

Vienna, Austria

Vienna, Austria

People stroll down the Silvesterpfad aka New Year’s Eve Trail at Stephansplatz during New Year's Eve celebrations in Vienna. 960 1280

Reuters/Lisi Niesner   

Toronto

Toronto

Spectators can watch the fireworks explode over Toronto's waterfront, one of the best New Year's Eve celebrations in the world. 960 1280
Scotland

Scotland

Two New Year revelers kiss as they take part in the Edinburgh Hogmanay street party celebrations in Edinburgh, Scotland. Edinburgh's 4-day festival includes a torchlight procession, street party, resolution concert and more. 960 1280

By Robbie Shade (Fireworks over Edinburgh) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

Fireworks explode above Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro. More than 2 million people gather along Rio's most famous beach to witness the 15-minute fireworks display and celebrate the New Year. 960 1280

PortoBay Hotels & Resorts via Flickr Creative Commons 2.0 PortoBay Hotels & Resorts  

Egypt

Egypt

Thousands of people flock to an amazing concert held in front of the 4,500-year-old pyramids in Egypt. A popular artist uses his techno-wizardry to entertain spectators from sunset to sunrise at the Millennium New Year's celebration. 960 1280

Khaled Desouki/Stringer/Getty Images  

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Revellers take part in New Year celebrations in Hong Kong's Times Square. 960 1280

Reuters  

London

London

Fireworks explode behind The Big Ben clock tower during New Year celebrations in London. 960 1280

Reuters  

Paris

Paris

Thousands of revellers celebrate the New Year on the Champs Elysees in Paris. 960 1280

Reuters  

Prague

Prague

Local residents and foreign tourists celebrate New Year's Eve at the Old Town Square in Prague, Czech Republic. 960 1280

Getty  

Moscow

Moscow

Fireworks explode over St. Basil Cathedral at Red Square during New Year's Day celebrations in Moscow. 960 1280

Reuters  

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