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11/26/2010 12:10 pm ET | Updated Sep 20, 2011

Christmas Season Kicks Off Around The World (PHOTOS)

The coming weekend marks the unofficial start to the 2010 holiday season, and retailers around the world have been busy decking their halls in preparation.

In many European nations, including Germany, open-air Christmas markets began enticing shoppers with a spectacular blend of spirited kitsch and tasty goodies, while in Japan, some of the festivities took on a seafaring vibe, with costumed penguins and divers joining in on the fun at a local aquarium.

Marvel at some of the most dazzling Christmas decorations in cities around the world here:

Christmas Season Begins