Bask in the Joy of These Holiday Displays
Newsweek|December 31, 2021
It's the holiday season! Around the globe, cities are transforming into cozy winter wonderlands, chock-full of old traditions, glittery light shows, and end-of-year celebrations. From a floating tree in Brazil's Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon to a menorah lit by ice-skating rabbis in Budapest, to Thailand's lantern festival, here are some of the world's most festive holiday displays to bring cheer to chilly winter days. —Meghan Gunn
Meghan Gunn

The World's Largest Floating Christmas Tree

RIO DE JANEIRO

Most years the city sets up a 278-foot tall metallic Christmas tree in the middle of Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon. Its lighting is one of Brazil's largest celebrations, and thousands of spectators line up for miles along the shoreline to watch.

Yee Peng Lantern Festival

CHIANG MAI, THAILAND

On the full moon of the 12th month of the Thai lunar calendar, thousands of floating lanterns are released-both paper ones into the night sky and also down the Ping River on what are called Krathong, small vessels typically fashioned from banana leaves holding tiny candles. The offerings look like thousands of fireflies drifting both downstream and overhead. Some locals say the tradition symbolizes letting resentment and grudges float away.

01 Santa's Gone Kauajian

KAUAI, HAWAII

There might not be snow on this island, but Christmas is still a festive occasion at Kauai's Historic County Building Park. Mr. and Mrs. Claus greet visitors from the porch at the annual Festival of Lights. Beneath the palm trees, you'll find decorations like the Over the Rainbow Tree, Santa's Cane Train Village, the SPAM Can Tree, and Surfin' Santa.

02 VanDusen Festival of Lights

VANCOUVER BRITISH COLUMBIA

During the holiday season, this Canadian botanical garden transforms into a fairytale land with more than one million lights. Bundle up and stroll down pathways with names like Candy Cane Lane and The Gingerbread Walk, and through the famed Purple Cave.

03 Rockefeller Center

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