As the spirit of Christmas celebrations spread across the world, here’s a look into different cultures and traditions from all around the world. From the immigrant children receiving gifts from NGOs to Pope Francis’ call for reconciliation in the world; the British royals attending Christmas service to the astronauts celebrating a cosmic holiday from the International Space Station – here’s a look in.
Above all, the most important call passed on by Pope Francis in his annual Christmas message from the Vatican’s Saint Peter’s Bascilica balcony was an appeal for peace in conflicted regions like Syria and Yemen. “My wish for a happy Christmas is a wish for fraternity. Fraternity among individuals of every nation and culture”.
Pope Francis delivers his Christmas ‘Urbi et Orbi’ blessing message from the central balcony of St Peter’s Basilica on December 25, 2018 in Vatican City, Vatican. The Blessing ‘Urbi et Orbi’ (to the city and to the world) is recognised as a Christmas tradition by Catholics. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
Pope Francis kisses a figurine of baby Jesus during a mass on Christmas eve at St Peter’s basilica in the Vatican. (Photo credit: Tiziana Fabi/AFP)
The British royals made a strong showing at Christmas Day church services in Sandringham, with Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Harry, and Meghan Markle (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
Hamburg Christmas Market (Photo by Alan Samuel / Flickr)
US and NATO forces sings Christmas carols at the Resolute Support Headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan (Photo by Rahmat Gul/AFP)
Santa Claus around the suburbs of Canadian province in Ontario (Photo by Whistler BC Canada)
A Syric Orthodox priest leads the Christmas morning mass at a church in Qamishli in northeastern Syria on Tuesday. (Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP)
The Merriam family from all around the world meets at Vail, dressed as Santa for Christmas run (Photo by Chris Dillman by Vail Daily/AP)
Children participate in a nativity scene in Bashiqa town, east of Mosul, in Iraq on Tuesday. (Photo credit: Khalid al-Mousily/Reuters)
A chef applies finishing touches to a 56-feet-long Christmas plum cake inside a shopping mall in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, on Christmas eve. (Photo credit: Amit Dave/Reuters)
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, New York (Photo by Shutterstock)
Christmas decorated neighbourhood in Islamabad, Pakistan (Photo by B K Bangash/AP)
A Tibetan Catholic carries a cross as he walks with the funeral cortege in Niuren village in China’s Yunnan province. (Photo by Tyrone Siu/Reuters)
People gather around a Christmas tree on Christmas Eve in China’s eastern Zhejiang province (Photo by AFP)