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Festive Holiday Lights Brighten the Season
Visitors stroll through the traditional Christmas Market on Dec. 20.
•Gallery: German Christmas Markets Dazzle Millions Every Year
Devotees leave after attending the first of a nine-day pre-dawn mass, locally called "Misa de Gallo," on Dec. 16. The pre-dawn mass is one of the most popular traditions among Filipinos during the Christmas season, the longest holiday celebration in the predominantly Roman Catholic country.
Visitors stroll through a Christmas fair on Dec. 15. Romania has changed dramatically in the 25 years since the people rose up against dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and began the slow transformation to a market economy and democracy. Under communism, religion was not banned, but churchgoing was discouraged for Communist Party members and the secret police. A dozen churches were razed or moved in Bucharest for the construction of Ceausescu’s giant House of the People.