The theme for the December photo competition is "Winter or near winter public holidays". I'm looking for photos that depict a public celebration of a holiday that is celebrated either during the winter season proper, or in the 6-8 weeks leading up to the winter season.

Examples would be a large Christmas tree in a town center, a large, a public dragon parade for Chinese New Year, a city decorated with lights for Diwali (provided it fell close to the winter season that year), etc. Basically, any publicly celebrated holiday, religious or not, that is in or around the winter season.

You may make your submission as an answer to this post. The standard rules for photo contests apply:

  • Only one photo per answer.
  • You can make up to three posts (attempts).
  • Do not delete posts if you don't get votes: you posted it, stand by it. (You have two more attempts if your first one doesn't work out.)
  • All submissions should have a line with when and where the photo was taken, and the specific holiday depicted in the photo.
  • The photo has to be taken by the person who posted it, or by a travel partner (needs to be named).
  • Keep it nice, non-offensive, and non-NSFW.
  • If you disagree with a photo, please consider leaving a comment on it or bringing it up in chat. For the purposes of judging, only upvotes will be considered; downvotes will not affect the score of the photo.
  • The photo may have been taken any time. (Keep in mind the topic restriction, though.)
  • The photo does not need to include people, but when it does, make sure they either agreed with them being in it and online, or show them in such a way they can't be recognized. (Doctoring the photo to block out faces is allowed.) If in doubt, go by the laws in your country.
  • The photo competition will begin December 1, 2019, 0:00 UTC, and continue until the end of the month (again in UTC). If there is no tie for the highest number of upvotes at the end of the month, the winner will be announced then; if there is, the voting period may extend beyond the month.

If you'd like to suggest a theme for a future photo competition, please add it to the list of possible photo competition topics. Also, you can join us in chat to help us make the decision on which topic to choose.

Clarification for photos in the southern hemisphere

Other than the mere fact that this happens to be the December photo competition, this post makes no references to specific times of year, only to the winter season. So for those in the southern hemisphere, photos taken during what would be the summertime in the northern hemisphere are acceptable.


Chris H wins the competition with the most upvoted photo at the end of the month, of the market in Spitalerstrasse, Hamburg.

Since no one currently on the site has offered/is available to host the competition this month, I've agreed to do it. I'm not sure at this point if I can continue doing it every month, but Midavalo has agreed to do it for the next month (January 2020), so that's covered.

Rules adapted from Willeke's previous photo competition.

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    -1 for "downvotes will not affect the score". Downvotes are integral part of Stack Exchange voting system and the SE community in general. – bb says Curb russian Trolls Nov 28 '19 at 12:45
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    @bytebuster That is actually an outcome of this discussion. If you disagree with it, please start up a new one. – gparyani Nov 28 '19 at 13:08
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    That proposal was about counting downvotes as upvotes — one of the most weird attempts to overrule the voting system I've seen of Stack Exchange. The proposal has been rejected by the community. Not sure, however, about how many of upvoters have read past the "NO!" to the "just ignore them" (mea culpa; I did this mistake, too). – bb says Curb russian Trolls Nov 28 '19 at 17:55
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    @bytebuster, the ' do not downvote' rule was made as people (at least one admitted to it) voted down photos for not meeting the rules of that months competition while said person had not read the full rules and the photo did meet those rules. – Willeke Dec 4 '19 at 11:22

I took this photo in December 2018 at the Christmas markets in Hamburg city centre. Specifically the market on Spitalerstrasse (as if that weren't clear).

Christmas market on Spitalerstrasse, Hamburg

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    Congratulations! Your photo wins the bragging rights as the photo with the most upvotes as of the end of the month. – gparyani Jan 1 '20 at 0:00

Christmas tree mady from Christmas flowers in the Kurhaus in Wiesbaden, Germany.

Photo taken in December 2015

Christmas tree


Drinking wine on the Christmas Market in Mainz, Germany.

Photo taken in November 2015.

Christmas Market in Mainz


Lights by The Akureyri Church, January 2015.


Christmas decorations at the UD Shopping Center in Udon Thani, Thailand. Picture was taken in November of 2018. No snow, but you get the idea:

enter image description here

  • I don't think winter exists in Thailand? Does this count? – gerrit Dec 16 '19 at 21:18
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    @gerrit winter seasons started in October. It's can actually be deceptively cold in the mornings. I think we had 8 degrees C or so last week (early in the morning), that's pretty cold when you're wearing shorts with a t-shirt. ;) – JJJ Dec 16 '19 at 23:53
  • Average high in Udon Thani in December is 29.1°C, according to the Thai Meteorological Department. Even though it's the coldest month of the year, I find it a stretch to call it winter. I'm really surprised Christmas decorations are a thing in Thailand, considering that Christians are a small minority (1,2%?) and it has AFAIK never been colonised by a Christian country, nor by a country with a Germanic background, so I would expect neither the pagan Yule tradition nor the religious Christmas tradition to have relevance there. Or is this in a "European neighbourhood" of some kind? – gerrit Dec 17 '19 at 8:47
  • Or is it some kind of inter-cultural exchange of "let's honour cultures from other parts of the world"? – gerrit Dec 17 '19 at 8:51
  • @gerrit there are some expats in Udon thani (maybe a thousand, probably fewer). Of course there are more in other areas of Thailand. As for the reason why, I think it's partly commercial and partly because Thais like the decorations too. Christmas songs are played in a lot of places, mostly commercial venues but also on domestic flights without BOB service. As for the temperature, it's mostly colder in the mornings. If you're used to temperatures above room temperature all the time, single digit lows are considered cold and a lot of shopping centers stock winter coats now. ;p – JJJ Dec 17 '19 at 9:05

Silvio Pettirossi International Airport, Asuncion, Paraguay, December 2019:

enter image description here

I like the simplicity of the tree.


enter image description here

Schlossplatz during the Stuttgarter Weihnachtsmarkt (29.11.2019).

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    This picture would be vastly improved through cropping. – Martha Dec 12 '19 at 15:41

Christmas tree in , January 2015.


The Christmas Market in Mainz, Germany.

Photo taken in November 2015.

Christmas market in Mainz

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