Countdown to Christmas

2016-12-11 14:19
US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle watch performances by a host of celebrities to ring in the 94th annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Washington. (Jonathan Ernst, Reuters)

US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle watch performances by a host of celebrities to ring in the 94th annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Washington. (Jonathan Ernst, Reuters)

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Worldwide, people are getting into the swing of the festive season as tree-lighting ceremonies are held, Santa clones make their annual appearance and children count the sleeps to Christmas Day. The US and Europe have been transformed into winter wonderlands. Dudu Mathebula collated some of yuletide’s best pictures.

santa sprinter A participant dressed as Father Christmas waits to start the eighth annual pre-Christmas Nikolauslauf (Nicholas run) in Michendorf in Germany PHOTO: reuters / stefanie loos
star light, stars white Barack Obama (far right) applauds beside members of his family after switching on the National Christmas Tree lights for the eighth and final time as US president. The spectacular event took place on the Ellipse, a public park near the White House PHOTO: reuters / mike theiler
pooches welcome A dog clad in yuletide gear was among the participants in the Nikolauslauf in Michendorf in Germany on December 4. The only proviso of this family fun run, which includes 2.5km and 5km races, is dressing like Santa PHOTO: stefanie loos
stellar cheer Christmas decorations at a country house estate in the village of Bad Tatzmannsdorf in Austria. Owned by the Gollnhuber family, the estate is lit with half a million Christmas lights and more than 60 inflatable Christmas figures every December, attracting thousands of visitors. This year, the lights went on on December 3 PHOTO: reuters / leonhard foeger
treewheeling A member of the Vespa Fan Club, dressed as a Christmas tree, rides with his red-suited peers, all dressed as Santa Claus (Samichlaus), through the streets of Zurich in Switzerland on December 4, as part of worldwide efforts by Santa lookalikes to raise money for their local charities PHOTO: reuters / arnd wiegmann
VIP trio US President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle and younger daughter Sasha watch performances by a host of celebrities, including Kelly Clarkson, Marc Anthony and Garth Brooks, to ring in the 94th annual National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony in Washington on December 1 PHOTO: reuters / jonathan ernst

Read more on:    festive season  |  christmas
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