Christmas is here and global citizens are celebrating the holiday with spectacular decorations, giant ornamented trees and thousands of glittering lights. Christmas images from around the world show a stunning display of joy and harmony during this time of year.
The iconic Rockefeller Center tree was lit in Midtown Manhattan on Nov. 30 to mark the start of the Christmas season. The tree lighting ceremony attracted thousands of people to New York City, to watch celebrity performances and bask in the glow of holiday cheer. This year, the tree is from Mifflinville, Penn., and stands 74-feet tall. It is illuminated by 30,000 lights stretching five miles. The tree will stay lit until Jan. 7.
The White House welcomed its Christmas tree on Nov. 25. It stands in the Blue Room of the White House at 19-feet tall. The balsam fir was cut down from Schroeder's Forevergreens near Neshkoro, Wisconsin. The trees at the D.C. building are covered in LED lights, which are environmentally friendly.
President Obama and First Lady Michelle posed for their family Christmas Card on Dec. 11 with daughters Malia and Sasha.
In Vatican City, Pope Benedict XVI attended an audience with the Roman Curia for Christmas greetings, in the Sala Clementina of the Apostolic Palace, in Vatican City. At 10 pm Rome time on Saturday, Pope Benedict will lead the Christmas midnight mass. On Sunday, from the central balcony of the Vatican Basilica, he will share his Christmas message and send his blessing Urbi et Orbi (to the world), reports The Vatican Radio.
Take a look at Christmas images from around the world.