In pictures: Christmas celebrations around the world

25 December 2020

People across the world are celebrating one of the holiest times in the Christian calendar. But this year’s church services and events (Christmas Day is celebrated by western churches on 25 December but by eastern churches on 7 January) are being attended by far fewer people because of the coronavirus outbreak. Social distancing and wearing masks are now the new must in many places.

People wear Christmas-themed attire at Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia. Photo: 25 December 2020
In Australia, Christmas-themed attire was popular among swimmers at Sydney’s famous Bondi Beach
Pope Francis leads a Christmas Eve Mass at St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. Photo: 24 December 2020
Pope Francis led a Christmas Eve Mass in St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican before a drastically reduced congregation
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, wearing a protective face mask and gloves, during the Christmas Day service at Canterbury Cathedral in Kent.
The Archbishop of Canterbury wore a protective face mask and gloves during a Christmas Day service in the UK
Indonesian Christians wear protective masks and practice social distancing as they pray during the Christmas mass at Immanuel Church amid the COVID-19 pandemic on December 25, 2020 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
These Christians in the Indonesian capital Jakarta observed social distancing at a Christmas Mass
A worshipper wearing a plastic visor and face mask prays during Christmas Day Mass at St. Mary's Cathedral on December 25, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan.
Worshippers in Tokyo also observed coronavirus measures
Worshippers of Legio Maria wearing face mask as a preventive measure against the spread of COVID-19 attend the Christmas prayer at their church in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, on December 25, 2020.
These women in Kenya’s Kibera slum wore masks during Christmas prayers
A worker operates a camera for the live broadcast of a Christmas service being streamed online from Yoido Full Gospel Church as measures are taken to protect against the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) on December 25, 2020 in Seoul, South Korea.
In South Korea, a Christmas service from the Yoido Full Gospel Church was streamed online
Children light candles at the entrance gate of the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Delhi, India. Photo: 24 December 2020
In India, children lit candles at the entrance gate of the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Delhi
People during the Christmas Mass, in Kolkata, India, on December 25, 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
This woman wore a mask to attend a service in Kolkata
Women wear face masks as they pray during a Christmas Eve Mass in St Andrew's Church in Karachi, Pakistan. Photo: 24 December 2020
These women prayed silently during the service in St Andrew’s Church in Karachi, Pakistan
People gathered around a fire during a Mass in the Virgin Mary Church in Baghdad, Iraq. Photo: 24 December 2020
In Iraq, people gathered around a fire during a Mass in the Virgin Mary Church in the capital Baghdad
Elderly residents and a nurse celebrate Christmas in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Photo: 24 December 2020
There were festive cheers at this centre for the elderly in Santiago de Compostela in Spain
Mary Orme and her son Michael McKimm arrive for a Christmas Day visit with their mother and grandmother, Rose McKimm, at Aspen Hill Village care home in Hunslet, Leeds.
This mother and son wore protective clothing to visit a care home in northern England
A family take advantage of the Christmas Day snow with a trip out sledging on the hills near Hexham, Northumberland.
People in parts of the UK woke up to a white Christmas
Employees in a gold shop wear hairbands with reindeer antlers as part of Christmas festivities in the southern Thai province of Narathiwat on December 25, 2020.
Employees at a gold shop in Thailand’s southern province of Narathiwat got into the festive spirit by donning reindeer antlers
A man dressed as Santa Claus greets children at a shopping mall in Jakarta on December 25, 2020.
In Indonesia, children wore masks as they interacted with Santa Claus at a shopping mall

Source: BBC News