• Slideshow Photos

    Devin Wagner / Argus Leader

    Image: Megan Shaffer, 8, right, holds a candle during the singing of "Silent Night"

    Christmas around the world

    From surfing Santas to solemn ceremonies and joyous celebrations, see Christmas activities around the world.

  • Image:

    Christmas around the world

    of

    New Delhi, India

    A Santa Claus distributes sweets to children in New Delhi, India, on Saturday, Dec. 25.

    AP / AP
  • Image: Traditional Christmas Day Ice Swimming

    Christmas around the world

    of

    Berlin, Germany

    Members of the Berlin Seals swimming club take a dip in an icy Lake Orankesee during their traditional Christmas Day swim in Berlin, Germany. They claim a brief dip in the chilly waters is healthy and improves blood circulation in the body.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: A just married couple kisses as Pope Benedict XVI finish his Urbi et Orbi hristmas Day message at the Vatican

    Christmas around the world

    of

    Rome, Italy

    A newlywed couple kisses as Pope Benedict XVI finishes his Urbi et Orbi (to the city and the world) message from the central balcony of Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican on Saturday.

    Reuters / Reuters
  • Image: Catholic priests pray at the St. Esprit

    Christmas around the world

    of

    Istanbul, Turkey

    Catholic priests pray at the St. Esprit Church during the Midnight Mass in Istanbul, Turkey, on Saturday.

    AFP - Getty Images / AFP - Getty Images
  • Image: Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal carries the statuette of baby Jesus during the midnight Mass ceremony

    Christmas around the world

    of

    Bethlehem

    The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal, carries the statuette of baby Jesus during the Midnight Mass at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem on Saturday.

    AP / AP
  • Image: Spc. Steven Galvin from Holstein, Iowa, of 2nd Platoon Bravo Company 2-327 Infantry wears a Santa Claus hat as he returns fires after a sudden attack by Taliban

    Christmas around the world

    of

    Afghanistan

    Spc. Steven Galvin from Holstein, Iowa, wears a Santa Claus hat as he returns fire during a sudden attack by Taliban on Combat Outpost Badel in Afghanistan near the Pakistan border on Dec. 24.

    AP / AP
  • Image: A Christmas tree installed with lanterns, measuring over 10 meters high, is illuminated in Shaanxi Province, China

    Christmas around the world

    of

    Shaanxi Province, China

    A Christmas tree is illuminated beside sculptures of ancient people in the background of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda on Dec. 24 in Xian, China. Christmas is becoming increasingly popular in Chinese consumer culture, along with Valentine's Day in February and Halloween in October.

    Getty Images Contributor / Getty Images Contributor
  • Image: Megan Shaffer, 8, right, holds a candle during the singing of "Silent Night"

    Christmas around the world

    of

    Sioux Falls, S.D.

    Megan Shaffer, 8, right, holds a candle during the singing of "Silent Night" at the Christmas Eve service at First Baptist Church in Sioux Falls, S.D., on Dec. 24.

    The Argus Leader via AP / The Argus Leader via AP
  • Image: A southern Sudanese man holds up a cross during a Christmas Eve procession in Juba

    Christmas around the world

    of

    Sudan

    A southern Sudanese man wears a t-shirt reading, "Vote For Your Freedom", as he holds up a cross during a Christmas Eve procession in Juba.

    Reuters / Reuters
  • Image: A Christian choir wearing cowboy hats sings during Christmas Eve celebrations

    Christmas around the world

    of

    Beirut, Lebanon

    A Christian choir wearing cowboy hats sings during Christmas Eve celebrations on Dec. 24 in the Ashrafiyeh neighborhood of east Beirut.

    AFP - Getty Images / AFP - Getty Images
  • Image: A group of Santa hat-wearing English tourists attempt to build a pyramid while celebrating Christmas Day at Bondi beach in Sydney

    Christmas around the world

    of

    Sydney, Australia

    A group of Santa hat-wearing English tourists attempt to build a pyramid while celebrating Christmas Day at Bondi beach in Sydney, on Dec. 25.

    AP / AP
  • Image: Frosty the Snowman pilots his small boat

    Christmas around the world

    of

    Potomac River, Md.

    Frosty the Snowman pilots his small boat down the Potomac River on Christmas Eve at Maryland's National Harbor, a few miles down the river from Washington, D.C. The Water Skiing Santa, Flying Elves, a Jet-Skiing Grinch, and even Frosty the Snowman, have been appearing on the river for 25 years in freezing temperatures. The annual event attracts thousands of people watching from the shore.

    AFP - Getty Images / AFP - Getty Images
  • Image: 
				
				Palestinan boys blow a vuvuzela

    Christmas around the world

    of

    Gaza City

    Palestinan boys blow a vuvuzela as they watch the Christmas Eve sunset along the sea front in Gaza City.

    AFP - Getty Images / AFP - Getty Images
  • Image: Josiah Joseph

    Christmas around the world

    of

    Los Angeles

    Josiah Joseph, 5, left, of Los Angeles and other children play in fake snow at the Los Angeles Mission. The Christmas Eve event provides food, toys, clothes and other gifts for families in need.

    AP / AP
  • Image: Floyd Cribbs, of Randlett, Okla., eats lunch at White's Truck Stop on Dec. 24

    Christmas around the world

    of

    Raphine, Va.

    Floyd Cribbs, of Randlett, Okla., eats lunch at White's Truck Stop on Christmas Eve in Raphine, Va.

    The News Leader via AP / The News Leader via AP
  • Image: A Christian choir wearing cowboy hats sings during Christmas Eve celebrations

    Christmas around the world

    of

    New York

    People skate on an ice rink while pedestrians look at the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center in New York City on Christmas Eve.

    msnbc.com / msnbc.com
  • Image:

    Christmas around the world

    of

    Cocoa Beach, Fla.

    People dressed as Santa Claus surf at Cocoa Beach, Fla., on Christmas Eve. They had gathered at Surfin' Santa George Trossett's beach house.

    AP / AP
  • Image:

    Christmas around the world

    of

    New Delhi

    Children light candles at the Sacred Heart Cathedral on Christmas Eve in New Delhi, India. Christians in India make up just over 2 percent of its one billion residents.

    AP / AP
  • Image: Christmas eve prayers in Churchof the Nativity in Bethlehem

    Christmas around the world

    of

    Bethlehem

    Nigerian Christians gather for prayers under paintings of the Virgin Mary and the infant Jesus in the Grotto inside the Church of the Nativity, accepted by Christians as the birthplace of Jesus Christ, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem on Christmas Eve. Thousands of pilgrims and tourists take part in the annual procession from Manger Square into the church to mark Jesus' birth.

    EPA / EPA
  • Image:

    Christmas around the world

    of

    Beijing

    A girl gestures to a boy to keep silent during a Christmas Eve Mass at the South Cathedral in Beijing.

    AP / AP
  • Image: David Hanson

    Christmas around the world

    of

    Colorao Springs, Colo.

    Air Force Lt. Col. David Hanson, of Chicago, takes a phone call from a child in Florida at the Santa Tracking Operations Center at Peterson Air Force Base near Colorado Springs, Colo. Volunteers take as many as 80,000 phone calls from youngsters and adults around the world with questions about Santa and his travels.

    AP / AP
  • Image: An elephant dressed in a Santa Claus cos

    Christmas around the world

    of

    Ayutthaya Province, Thailand

    An elephant performs before giving out gifts to students to mark the Christmas season at a school in Thailand's Ayutthaya province. The event was held as part of a campaign to promote Christmas.

    AFP - Getty Images / AFP - Getty Images
  • Image: A boy lights a candle during Christmas celebration at the Cathedral of Virgin Mary Immaculate Conception in Moscow

    Christmas around the world

    of

    Moscow

    A boy lights a candle during a celebration at the Cathedral of Virgin Mary Immaculate Conception in Moscow.

    Reuters / Reuters
  • Image: Church of the Nativity

    Christmas around the world

    of

    Bethlehem

    An Armenian priest prays inside the grotto where Christians believe the Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus in the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem on Christmas Eve.

    EPA / EPA
  • Image: A teacher dressed as Santa Claus distributes candy to children to celebrate the upcoming Christmas Day at a kindergarten in Hefei

    Christmas around the world

    of

    Hefei, China

    A teacher dressed as Santa distributes candy to children at a kindergarten in Hefei, Anhui province, China, on Dec. 23.

    Reuters / Reuters