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Girls dance during a performance to celebrate Christmas Eve outside a Catholic church at Liuhe village, Shanxi province, China.


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A single man kisses a woman after she accepted his request for a date during the mass blind date event on Christmas Eve in Seoul, South Korea. More than 3,000 young South Korean men and women participated, highlighting the woes of the lovelorn in a rapidly aging nation. The singles braved sub-zero weather for the flash-mob blind date that was organised on social media.


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Street vendors wait for customers as they sell vegetables along the streets of Kathmandu, Nepal.


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A woman walks a dog on the embankment of a river in Moscow, with the air temperature at about minus 23 degrees Celsius.


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A man dressed as Saint Nicholas (2nd R) and single young men in traditional Bavarian costumes known as Buttenmandl and Krampusse march in the southern German town of Maria Gern near Berchtesgaden. Buttenmandl and Krampusse are made of animal skins with masks attached to large cow-bells used to make loud, frightening noises. They follow Saint Nicholas from house to house each year to bring luck to the good and punishment for the idle.


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Indian protesters hold placards as they demonstrate against the brutal gang-rape of a woman on a moving bus New Delhi, India. Authorities shut down roads in the heart of India's capital on Monday to put an end to a week of demonstrations against the gang rape.

Altaf Qadri/AP

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Pope Benedict XVI lights a candle at his studio window overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, after the unveiling of the Nativity scene.

Gregorio Borgia/AP

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A fighter from Islamist Syrian rebel group Jabhat al-Nusra walks between damaged houses in Aleppo, Syria.


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In this image taken Friday Dec. 7, 2012 Britain's Queen Elizabeth II wears 3D glasses with producer John McAndrew, centre. and director John Bennett in the White Drawing Room of Buckingham Palace in central London, as they watch the recording of her Christmas message to the Commonwealth which is to be broadcast in 3D for the first time .

John Stillwell/Pool/AP

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Shoppers walk under Christmas lights near Oxford Street, in London, England.


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Volunteers take phone calls from children asking where Santa is and when he will deliver presents to their house, during the annual NORAD Tracks Santa Operation, at the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, at Peterson Air Force Base, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Over a thousand volunteers at NORAD handle more than 100,000 thousand phone calls from children around the world every Christmas Eve.

Brennan Linsley/AP

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