Photography

Here’s what Christmas around the world looks like this year

Rob Holtzapfel, a member of a vintage car group dressed as Santa Claus, sits in a 1959 Cadillac along a street lined with decorations in Marunouchi district in Tokyo.

Philip Fong/AFP/Getty Images

Philip Fong/AFP/Getty Images

Santa in a bubble. Carolers in masks. Socially distanced church services. It’s the world’s first Christmas with the coronavirus, and traditions new and old are carrying on despite pandemic restrictions.

Philip Fong/AFP/Getty Images

This year, some families are separated by travel bans and movement restrictions. Others will have empty seats at the table as they mourn the virus’s victims. For some others, holiday cheer may be hard to muster as the coronavirus continues to extract a heavy toll.

Philip Fong/AFP/Getty Images

Despite the difficulties, here’s what Christmas around the world looks like.

Philip Fong/AFP/Getty Images

Russian emergency rescue workers dressed as Ded Moroz (Santa Claus, or Father Frost) reflect in a window of a children's hospital after scaling the wall to greet children in Moscow.

Pavel Golovkin/AP

Pavel Golovkin/AP

Mass servers gather near the alter after Christmas Mass at the Manila Cathedral in Manila on Dec. 25.

Lisa Marie David/Reuters

Lisa Marie David/Reuters

A man attends Christmas Mass at Alexander Nevsky cathedral in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Stoyan Nenov/Reuters

Stoyan Nenov/Reuters

People visit an outdoor market inside a shopping complex on Christmas Day in Beijing.

Tingshu Wang/Reuters

Tingshu Wang/Reuters

People attend Christmas Mass at St. John's Cathedral in Peshawar, Pakistan.

Muhammad Sajjad/AP

Muhammad Sajjad/AP

Altar boys attend the celebration of Christmas at the Basilica Notre Dame in Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast.

Luc Gnago/Reuters

Luc Gnago/Reuters

People attend Christmas Mass at St. Joseph Cathedral in Hyderabad, India.

Mahesh Kumar A/AP

Mahesh Kumar A/AP

People on the screen attend an online Christmas service as a precaution against the coronavirus at the Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul.

Lee Jin-Man/AP

Lee Jin-Man/AP

Pierbattista Pizzaballa, apostolic administrator of the Latin Church in the Holy Land, leads a Christmas midnight Mass at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem in the West Bank.

Pool/Reuters

Pool/Reuters

Members of the Ramoneda family gather during a Christmas meal in Sentmenat, in Barcelona province, Spain.

Emilio Morenatti/AP

Emilio Morenatti/AP

A patient holds the hand of her relative sitting behind a plastic sheet in the Chamber of Our Heart room, which has two separate entrances to avoid the risk of contracting the coronavirus at the Gottsegen Gyorgy Hungarian Institute of Cardiology in Budapest.

Marton Monus/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Marton Monus/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Twenty-five-year-old student Djordje Pantovic, dressed as Santa Claus, gestures during an online session with kids at his home in Belgrade, Serbia.

Andrej Isakovic/AFP/Getty Images

Andrej Isakovic/AFP/Getty Images

A firefighter dressed as Santa Claus is seen during the annual gift-giving event organized by the fire department, in which they hand out items donated throughout the year to children in need, in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.

Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters

Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters

Revelers ride on a merry-go-round at Uhuru Park for Christmas Day celebrations in Nairobi.

Thomas Mukoya/Reuters

Thomas Mukoya/Reuters

Pope Francis is seen at the Vatican before delivering his traditional Christmas Day speech to the city and the world virtually from inside the Hall of Blessings, instead of from St. Peter's Square to limit the number of people gathering due to the pandemic.

Vatican Media/Reuters

Vatican Media/Reuters

People celebrate Christmas in Karachi, Pakistan.

Shahzaib Akber/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

Shahzaib Akber/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

A child plays with a lit sparkler while celebrating Christmas Eve at an improvised shelter, set up under an overpass by people who lost their homes due to the floods caused by the rains brought by Hurricanes Eta and Iota, in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

A family celebrates Christmas Eve on their balcony, amid the coronavirus pandemic, in Rio de Janeiro.

Sergio Moraes/Reuters

Sergio Moraes/Reuters

A swimmer wearing a Santa hat gets out of the Serpentine lake at Hyde Park on Christmas Day, as the spread of the coronavirus continues, in London.

Hannah Mckay/Reuters

Hannah Mckay/Reuters

A health worker dressed as Santa Claus visits patients in a hospital in Cali, Colombia.

Paola Mafla

Paola Mafla

People light candles on Christmas Eve at a church in Amritsar, India.

Narinder Nanu/AFP/Getty Images

Narinder Nanu/AFP/Getty Images

Christmas Eve Mass at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Qaraqosh, Iraq.

Zaid al-Obeidi/AFP/Getty Images

Zaid al-Obeidi/AFP/Getty Images

Actors dressed as Santa Claus greet people from inside a truck in Tel Aviv.

Abir Sultan//EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Abir Sultan//EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

People take photos in front of Christmas decorations in Taipei.

Chiang Ying-ying/AP

Chiang Ying-ying/AP

Girls wearing face shields perform during a Christmas festival in Bangkok. (Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters)

Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters

Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters

People take in the holiday lights in Moscow.

Pavel Golovkin/AP

Pavel Golovkin/AP

A man dressed as Santa Claus waves to children from inside a plastic ball in Galicia, on the northwest coast of Spain.

Nacho Doce/Reuters

Nacho Doce/Reuters