Mon, December 27, 2010
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The world celebrates Christmas

2010-12-27 06:54:25 GMT2010-12-27 14:54:25 (Beijing Time)  SINA.com

U.S. President Barack Obama's weekly internet address, in which he and First Lady Michelle wished families across the country a Merry Christmas, and reminded Americans to think of the troops overseas.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, SAYING:

"Merry Christmas, everybody. Michelle and I just wanted to take a moment today to send greetings from our family to yours."

The head of the catholic church, Pope Benedict the Sixteenth, wished for lasting peace in Somalia, and the Ivory Coast and urged Palestinians and Israelis to live - side by side - and in peace.

(SOUNDBITE) (Italian) POPE BENEDICT XVI, SAYING:

""May the light of Christmas shine forth anew in the Land where Jesus was born, and inspire Israelis and Palestinians to strive for a just and peaceful coexistence."

His Christmas message was delivered in 65 languages.

But some took a less predictable approach to Christmas -- members of the Berlin Seals swimming club gave up the warmth of their living rooms and hacked a hole in this lake's ice for a bit of festive - freezing - fun in the German capital.

The club has around 70 winter swimmers, and Christmas won't get in the way of their routine.

In Australia, Christmas is equally unconventional -- wearing reindeer antlers or even dressing up in Santa outfits, beachgoers admired a decorated Christmas tree planted in the sand or enjoyed the warm sea.

No matter the weather, people the world over are celebrating Christ's birthday in their own way.

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