22 photos reveal what Christmas looked like around the world in 2020

christmas 2020 covid

  • Photographers captured moments from all corners of the globe that offered a glimpse into what Christmas looked like this year. 
  • Following a year marked by the coronavirus pandemic, many people honored the memories of loved ones or experienced an isolated holiday, visiting with family members and friends through windows or virtually. 
  • Healthcare workers continued to show up on the front lines, treating patients during the holiday.
  • Photographers also captured how religious communities celebrated Christmas, from face masks to drive-through services.
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Photographers captured a variety of moments from Christmas around the world, showcasing people's emotions and experiences as 2020 comes to a close.

Face masks were the common denominator of ceremonies that took place around the world to mark the religious holiday.

Some communities were photographed commemorating Christmas at outdoor services sitting apart from one another.

Some congregations celebrated the holiday in tents or other makeshift setups.

Others attended Christmas services from their cars.

For many, getting a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine was the definition of a Christmas miracle.

Healthcare workers continued to show up on the front lines, treating patients on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Music continued to lift people's spirits this Christmas season.

Whether people performed tunes from balconies…

…or on city sidewalks, many sounds of the holiday season were still prevalent this year.

Communities got creative when it came to spreading holiday joy.

Santa Claus characters around the world greeted people through windows on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Patients at a children's hospital in Moscow, Russia, were paid visits from workers dressed as Ded Moroz, a Slavic character similar to Santa Claus.

Artists performed in the yard of a children's hospital in Moscow.

Video calls took the place of in-person gatherings for many families this year.

Some cities around the world faced Christmas-specific lockdowns, making for empty city centers that would normally be filled with people. In Rome, police enforced Italy's nationwide lockdown that went into effect on Christmas Eve to prevent a spike in cases in January.

London and other parts of England were placed on a lockdown that prohibited multi-household gatherings over the Christmas holiday.

People across the globe observed festive holiday lights in the form of car-friendly tunnels.

On Christmas Eve, rainbow-colored lights illuminated the sky above Shanghai, China, resembling the shape of an ox.

Face mask-clad city-goers in Taipei, Taiwan, walked through a display with lanterns and string lights on Christmas Eve.

In New York City, people enjoyed vibrant department-store window displays, such as this setup at Saks Fifth Avenue.

People in Kolkata, India, connected with others virtually while surrounded by colorful light displays on Christmas Eve.

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