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Holiday lights

Cities around the world light up the night with their seasonal holiday displays.

A Christmas tree installed with lanterns, measuring over 10 meters high, is illuminated beside sculptures of ancient people in the background of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda on Dec. 24, in Xian of Shaanxi Province, China. Christmas is becoming increasingly popular in Chinese consumer culture, along with the Valentine's Day in February and Halloween in October.

China Photos / Getty Images AsiaPac

Fireworks explode around a Christmas tree in the center of the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, Russia on Friday, Dec. 24.

Ilya Naymushin / X01151

People take pictures on a stairway at a shopping mall in Beijing, China, on Wednesday, Dec. 22.

Diego Azubel / EPA

The National Christmas Tree is seen in front of the White House on Dec. 9 after President Barack Obama and his family helped light it.

Molly Riley / X01007

Fireworks explode as a giant Christmas tree and an old building in Beirut are illuminated Dec. 9 during the "Beirut Celebrates 2010" Christmas parade.

Mohamed Azakir / X00013

The 78th annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is pictured between sculptures of angels after the Nov. 30 lighting ceremony in New York.

Shannon Stapleton / X90052

A Christmas tree is installed Dec. 2 in Moscow's Red Square with St. Basil Cathedral in the background.

Mikhail Metzel / AP

The historic center of Winterberg, with the St. Jakobus church in the background, is festively illuminated Nov. 24 for Christmas.

Julian Stratenschulte / DPA

From left, a 30-meter pyramid made up of crystal blocks is lit up Nov. 29 in front of skyscrapers in Hong Kong's financial business district during the Christmas lighting ceremony.

Ym Yik / EPA

People attend the Christmas tree lighting ceremony on the west front of the U.S. Capitol building Dec. 7 while the Washington monument glows in the distance in Washington, D.C. This year's tree, a 67-foot Engelmann spruce, came from Wyoming's Bridger-Teton National Forest. Strands of energy-efficient LED lights and hand-made ornaments from Wyoming residents decorate the tree.

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images North America

Buses drive under the Christmas lights on Oxford Street Nov. 23 in London.

Ian Gavan / Getty Images Europe

A couple walks toward a Christmas tree at a shopping mall Nov. 24 in Tokyo.

Yuriko Nakao / X90018

Albert Carver looks at a 50-foot-tall Christmas tree made of lobster traps Dec. 2 on Beals Island, Maine. Some of the top lobster-fishing ports in New England are claiming bragging rights about who has the biggest and best Christmas tree created from lobster traps. The groups that put up the trees say they draw attention to the ports' maritime heritage, bring people together and raise money for good causes. The tree in Beals helps raises money for the Beals-Jonesport Fourth of July festivities and the one in Gloucester benefits a nonprofit devoted to the arts.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP

A vendor for Christmas stars awaits customers Nov. 22 at the Christmas market on the Alexanderplatz in Berlin.

Markus Schreiber / AP

A couple walk with their dog toward an illuminated Christmas tree Dec. 1 in front of a manor house in Gelsenkirchen, western Germany.

Martin Meissner / AP

Children play with their sled in front of the house of Lutz Pingel, which is decorated with Christmas lights, on Nov. 30 in Dortmund, Germany. Each year several owners set up fairy lights at their houses for Christmas.

Ina Fassbender / X00970

Hundreds of people gather at the Christmas Market in Frankfurt, Germany, which officially opened Nov. 24 with the lighting of the tree.

Michael Probst / AP

An illumination resembling a Christmas tree is displayed Dec. 2 at the monument to St. George at the Freedom Square in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia.

Shakh Aivazov / AP

People look at illuminated Christmas decorations Dec. 6 in Cali, Colombia.

Jaime Saldarriaga / X02394

Choristers perform in front of Westminster Abbey's Christmas tree Dec. 6 in Westminster, London.

Facundo Arrizabalaga / EPA

Christmas illuminations decorate the Royal Route on Dec. 2. in Warsaw, Poland.

Radek Pietruszka / PAP

People stand at a Christmas market stall in front of Germany's biggest Christmas tree Nov. 25 in the city center of Dortmund. The 45-meter tree is made of 1,700 Norway spruces and illuminated by 48,000 lamps. Christmas markets have been a German tradition for about 600 years and are found in nearly every city in Germany during the advent season.

Martin Meissner / AP

Fireworks light up the sky Dec. 1 near the 120 foot-tall Christmas tree display at the Baywalk in Palawan city, Philippines. The Philippines, the largest Roman Catholic state in Asia, observes one of the longest Christmas holidays in the world, beginning with dawn masses on Dec. 16 to the feast of Three Kings in January.

Romeo Ranoco / X00226

Fireworks explode from a Christmas tree Dec. 4 during the lighting ceremony at Rodrigo de Freitas Lake in Rio de Janeiro.

Sergio Moraes / X90023

Trees illuminated by Christmas lights are reflected in a puddle Nov. 25 in Unter den Linden street in Berlin.

Thomas Peter / X02624