Image: BELARUS-NEW-YEAR-PARADE

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Christmas Eve Marked With Solemn Masses, Silly Santas

Pope Francis led a Christmas Eve Mass at the Vatican while Santas popped up around the world on the day before Christmas.

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Image: Faithful from a Catholic church take part in a Christmas parade in Shanghai

China

Faithful from a Catholic church take part in a Christmas Eve parade in Shanghai.

Aly Song / Reuters
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Image: Pope Francis kisses a statue of baby Jesus as he leads the Christmas night Mass in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican

Pope Francis kisses a statue of baby Jesus as he leads the Christmas Eve Mass in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican.
Tony Gentile / Reuters
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Image: LEBANON-SYRIA-CONFLICT-RELIGION-REFUGEES-CHRISTIANITY

Lebanon

Chloe, a Lebanese Christian teenager dressed as Santa Claus, hands a gift to a Syrian refugee during a gift distribution in Dbayeh, north of Beirut.

Patrick Baz / AFP - Getty Images
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Image: BELARUS-NEW-YEAR-PARADE

Belarus

People dressed as Father Frost and Snow Maidens march along a street during a traditional Christmas parade in Minsk. Most of the Christians in Belarus are Orthodox and will celebrate Christmas on Jan. 7.

SERGEI GAPON / AFP - Getty Images
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Image: CORRECTION-IRAQ-CONFLICT-RELIGION-CHRISTIANITY

Iraq

Christians attend a Christmas Eve service at the Mar Shimoni church in Bartalla, near Mosul, for the first time since its recapture from ISIS in a massive military operation. ISIS seized Bartalla and swathes of other territory north and west of Baghdad in the summer of 2014, leaving Christians with the grim choices of conversion, paying a tax, fleeing or death.

Safin Hamed / AFP - Getty Images
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Image: Christmas Eve in Frankfurt

Germany

Thousands of people gather near a Christmas tree for the "Grand Bell Ringing" in Frankfurt. The event is held before major religious holidays and involves 10 inner city church towers ringing their bells for a 30-minute concert.

Arne Dedert / EPA
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Image: A man dressed as Santa Claus ice skates at The Rink At Rockefeller Center on Christmas Eve in Manhattan, New York City, U.S.

New York

Santa Claus ice skates in the rain at Rockefeller Center.

Andrew Kelly / Reuters
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Hong Kong

Children hold candles during a service at St. Paul's Cathedral.

Tengku Bahar / AFP - Getty Images
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Pakistan

A man decorates a tree for Christmas in a Christian neighborhood of Islamabad.

B.K. Bangash / AP
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Image: US-CHRISTMAS-WATER-SKIING-SANTA

Virginia

Santa Claus water skis with elves on the Potomac River in Alexandria, just down the river from the nation's capital.

Paul J. Richards / AFP - Getty Images
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Image: Christmas Eve in New Delhi

India

A child lights candles at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in New Delhi.

Rajat Gupta / EPA
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Vatican

The Nativity scene, background left, and a Christmas tree adorn St. Peter's Square prior to the start of the Christmas Eve Mass.

Alessandra Tarantino / AP
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Image: TOPSHOT-GERMANY-CHRISTMAS-FEATURE

Germany

Santa Claus rides a scooter to an annual biker's meeting in Hagen.

PHOTOS: Let it Glow! Christmas Lights Shine Around the World

Ina Fassbender / AFP - Getty Images
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