The annual Christmas dinner for Berlin’s poor and homeless has taken place, hosted by German singer Frank Zander.
It is the 19th year the event has been held and 2,900 guests packed into the hotel venue for the traditional German Christmas meal of duck, potato dumplings and red cabbage.
“I am here to enjoy myself a little bit and to get to know people and forget about my everyday worries for a little while,” said Eveline Deter, one of those tucking in.
Monday’s event was organised with the help of two charities and 250 volunteers.
The Orthodox Christian church does not celebrate Christmas until early January, but that has not stopped the festive spirit from already reaching Moscow.
At a Christmas market near the Kremlin walls, traders from as far as Strasbourg and Brussels came bearing – not exactly gifts, but plenty of good food, from chestnuts to chocolate.
The festive season does not officially start until New Year’s Eve in Russia. For many it is going to be a long celebration.
In Belgium’s capital, the Brussels Ice Magic exhibition features sculptures of favourite cartoon characters including Tintin, Asterix and the Incredible Hulk.
Twenty-five ice sculptors spent almost 60 days creating the giant ice freezer in which they are housed. The display runs until February.
In snow-free Thailand, Santa Claus came to town in Ayutthaya using neither sleighs nor reindeer, but some very well-trained jumbo elephants.
Three males and a female roamed the streets handing out treats to children and entertaining the crowds.