25 December 2016

Sri Lanka claims world's tallest artificial Christmas tree

A Sri Lankan family takes photographs standing near an enormous artificial Christmas tree as others gather around it in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2016. Sri Lanka has unveiled a towering Christmas tree, claiming to have surpassed the world record for the tallest artificial Christmas tree.
Sri Lanka unveiled a towering Christmas tree, claiming to have surpassed the world record despite constructions delays and a shorter-than-planned finished product.
The 73-meter (238-foot) artificial tree in capital Colombo is 18 meters (59 feet) taller than the current record holder, organizers said. The tree's steel-and-wire frame is covered with a plastic net decorated with more than 1 million natural pine cones painted red, gold, green and silver, 600,000 LED bulbs and topped by a 6-meter (20-foot)-tall shining star.

Thousands of faithful celebrate Christmas in Bethlehem

A Christian worshipper prays after lighting a candle on Christmas Eve at the Church of the Nativity, built atop the site where Christians believe Jesus Christ was born, in the West Bank City of Bethlehem, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2016.
Thousands of pilgrims and tourists from around the world together with local Christians gathered in the biblical town of Bethlehem to celebrate Christmas Eve in the traditional birthplace of Jesus, with spirits lifted by a slowdown in recent violence and cool, clear weather.
Security was tight in Bethlehem after recent deadly attacks on Christian targets in neighboring Egypt and Jordan by Islamic extremists.