Around the world, the holidays are in full swing. There are Christmas lights in Hong Kong, midnight Mass in Bethlehem, and even Santa distributing sweets in India.

Pope Francis ushered in his first Christmas as pontiff with a sermon drawing on the theme of humility as he cited Jesus' humble beginnings as a poor and vulnerable baby. Thousands gathered at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem to hear midnight Mass near the site of Jesus' birth.

Here's a gallery of images from Christmas celebrations around the world.

_____

Follow AP photographers and photo editors on Twitter: http://apne.ws/15Oo6jo

Loading Slideshow...
  • U.S. Maj. Gen. James C. McConville, left, poses with soldiers at Camp Clark during a Christmas visit in Khost province, eastern Afghanistan, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013. The commander of NATO forces in eastern Afghanistan spent Christmas visiting U.S. troops at bases across the mountainous region to bring them holiday greetings and gifts for a few lucky soldiers.(AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

  • Christians celebrate Christmas during a party held at the Dama Rose hotel in Damascus, Syria on Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013. (AP Photo)

  • Costumed members of the "Berlin Seals" go to swim in Lake Orankesee in Berlin, Germany Wednesday Dec. 25, 2013. Traditionally the group meets for swimming on Christmas Day. (AP Photo/dpa,Tim Brakemeier)

  • Catholic priests lead a special Christmas Day mass for children, in a monastery ground serving as a camp for the displaced, in Bangui, Central African Republic, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

  • Children pray during a special Christmas Day mass for children, in a monastery ground serving as a camp for the displaced, in Bangui, Central African Republic, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

  • An Indian nun receives a communion wafer from a priest during Christmas in a church in Gauhati, India, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

  • Iraqi Christians attend a Christmas mass at the Mother Teresa Catholic Church in Basra, Iraq's second-largest city, 340 miles (550 kilometers) southeast of Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Nabil al-Jurani))

  • Children surround Russian Ded Moroz (Father Frost), who arrived in Moscow Zoo, as a part of a New Year celebrations, in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013. Russians celebrate Orthodox Christmas on Jan. 7.(AP Photo/ Ivan Sekretarev)

  • A Syrian Orthodox Christian prays in front of the altar at the Saint Afram Syrian Orthodox Church during the midnight Christmas Mass in Amman, Jordan, Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon)

  • Typhoon survivors pray during a Christmas mass at the Santo Nino church in Tacloban, Philippines, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

  • Palestinian Christians participate in a morning Christmas mass at St. George Melkite Greek Catholic Church, in the West Bank village of Burqin near Jenin city, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Mohammed Ballas)

  • A Christian attends the Christmas Mass at Holy Family Cathedral in Nairobi, Kenya, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013. Many Christians went to churches to pay their Christmas prayers across the country. (AP Photo/Sayyid Azim)

  • Kabir Singh, who is from the U.S. but now lives in Australia, sits on Bondi Beach wearing a Santa suit as light rain falls on him while celebrating Christmas Day in Sydney, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

  • Scott Relf, right, and his British girlfriend Lauren Harris laugh as they stand in the rain on Bondi Beach to celebrate Christmas Day in Sydney, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)