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Midnight Mass and frosty plunges: Christmas traditions around the world

See Christmas celebrations around the world, from the Vatican to Kabul.

23 PHOTOS

Pope Francis delivers the Urbi et Orbi Christmas day blessing from the main balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on Dec. 25, 2017.

L'Osservatore Romano via AP
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A woman wearing a Santa hat dives into a partly frozen lake in Shenyang in China's Liaoning province on Dec. 25.

AFP - Getty Images
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A member of the U.S. Army receives a gift from Santa during Christmas celebrations in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Dec. 25.

Mohammad Ismail / Reuters
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A lifeguard wearing a Christmas hat uses binoculars to watch swimmers on Christmas Day at Sydney's Bondi Beach in Australia, on Dec. 25.

David Gray / Reuters
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Faithful pray beneath a painting depicting Jesus Christ during midnight Mass at the Nuestra Senora Del Carmen Church on Dec. 24, in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. The Mass finished well before midnight this year to accommodate those who live in areas without electricity. The church ran the Mass with a generator. Barely three months after Hurricane Maria made landfall, approximately one-third of the devastated island is still without electricity.

Mario Tama / Getty Images
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Worshippers with the Legio Maria of African Church Mission hold candles during their overnight Christmas Mass at the church near Ugunja, Kenya, early on Dec. 25.

Fredrik Lerneryd / AFP - Getty Images
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Indonesian Christians celebrate Christmas Mass at a stadium in Surabaya, on Dec. 24.

Juni Kriswanto / AFP - Getty Images
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Pope Francis leads the Christmas night Mass in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on Dec. 24.

Tony Gentile / Reuters
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A man wearing a Santa hat warms up before swimming in a partly frozen lake in Shenyang in China's Liaoning province on Dec. 25.

AFP - Getty Images
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A Palestinian shopkeeper dresses plastic models outfitted as Santa Claus outside his shop in Gaza City on Dec. 25.

Mohammed Abed / AFP - Getty Images
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Swimmers prepare to dive into the water as they take part in the Christmas Day Serpentine swim in London's Hyde Park on Dec. 25.

Andrew Winning / Reuters
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Meghan Markle joins her fiancé, Prince Harry, along with Prince William and his wife, Kate, at a Christmas church service at Church of St. Mary Magdalene in King's Lynn, Britain on Dec. 25.

Chris Jackson / Getty Images
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Members of the U.S. army take a picture during celebrations on Christmas Eve at a U.S. airfield in Bagram, Afghanistan on Dec. 24.

Mohammad Ismail / Reuters
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Members of the Berlin Seals ice swimming club take a dip in Orankesee lake as part of their traditional Christmas session in Berlin on Dec. 25.

Hannibal Hanschke / Reuters
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People attend a Christmas Eve Mass at The 'Flussschifferkirche' floating church in Hamburg, Germany on Dec. 24. The church was first built for sailors who navigate the rivers and canals.

SRDJAN SUKI / EPA
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Joel Arena walks his boss' dog through Frontier Park in St. Charles, Mo., as snow falls on Dec. 24. A winter storm that brought several inches of snow to parts of the Midwest was set to blanket parts of the Northeast on Monday, potentially snarling travel.

Robert Cohen / St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP
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Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders perform at halftime during an NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks in Arlington, Texas on Dec. 24.

Larry W. Smith / EPA
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President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump speak on the phone with children as they track Santa's movements with the North American Aerospace Defense Command Santa tracker on Christmas Eve at the president's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida on Dec. 24.

Carolyn Kaster / AP
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An Egyptian woman lights a candle during a mass on Christmas Eve at Saint Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in Cairo on Dec. 24.

Amr Abdallah Dalsh / Reuters
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Christian worshippers pray at the Church of the Nativity, accepted by Christians as the birthplace of Jesus Christ, in Bethlehem on Dec. 24.

Abed Al Hashlamoun / EPA
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A Franciscan monk prays in the grotto of the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem on Dec. 24.

Jim Hollander / EPA
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Members of a Palestinian marching band parade during Christmas celebrations outside the Church of the Nativity on Christmas Eve, in Bethlehem on Dec. 24.

Majdi Mohammed / AP
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Members of the Cryophile winter swimming club form 2018 on the bank of the Yenisei River to mark the upcoming New Year and Christmas season in Krasnoyarsk, Russia on Dec. 24.

Ilya Naymushin / Reuters
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