These pictures and descriptions have been lifted from a CBS slideshow.

Dresden, Germany:

A view of the 572nd Christmas market in Dresden, Germany, on Nov. 29, 2006. You know it’s Christmas time in Germany when, inexplicably and almost overnight, the public squares of most cities and towns are transformed into shopping bazaars. The markets in Germany have been a dominant part of the country’s celebration of the Yuletide for hundreds of years

 

Chongqing Municipality, China

A customer buys festive goods at a store selling Christmas decorations on Dec. 7, 2006, in Chongqing Municipality, China. Western traditions such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Halloween have become increasingly popular among Chinese youth, as shops, restaurants and bars promote their business during these holidays.

 

Gavle, Sweden:

Fireworks celebrate the construction of a giant straw Christmas goat in Gavle, Sweden, on Dec. 3 2006. The centuries-old Scandinavian Yule symbol precedes Santa as the bringer of gifts to Swedish homes.

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