The Most Over-the-Top Christmas Celebrations Across the World

We bet you've never seen a river shine with lights before.

Getty ImagesRaul Arboleda/AFP

From spectacular light displays to a city that really embraces the whole "Santa" theme, these destinations put the festive in holiday festivities. But not every display is full of light and cheer — there's one tradition that seems more in line with Halloween than Christmas.

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Beijing, China

Your local mall has nothing on the display at The Place, a shopping center that features a 250-meter-long LED "skyscreen" that is the second largest screen in the world. During the holiday season, it becomes .

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Getty ImagesEmmanuel Dunand/AFP
Brussels, Belgium

The Grand Place in Brussels is the backdrop for the stunning "Impulsion" show at the annual "Winter Wonders" festival. The multi-million-euro spectacular that dazzles with color, light, and music.

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Getty ImagesRaul Arboleda/AFP
Medellin, Colombia

is considered to be one of the world's most incredible light displays. 3D figures, projections, and millions of lights take over the city and the Rio Medellin.

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Rovaneimi, Finland

Larger-than-life decorated trees, snowmen, and other symbols of the season turn this town into the headquarters of none other than Santa Claus. You can send a letter from the big man at , or head over to the nearby , a very themed theme park.

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Warsaw, Poland

While some towns light up a tree for the holiday, Warsaw . Light sculptures, projections, and other creative displays create a magical atmosphere.

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Getty ImagesKent Nishimura
Honolulu, Hawaii

In Hawaii, Christmas feels a little more laid-back. Though you'll see plenty of lights and decorated trees, the most unusual sight might be the in downtown Honolulu.

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Fieberbrunn, Austria

Sometimes "over-the-top" doesn't always mean "light hearted." That's quite the case for the yearly Krampus celebrations, where costumed revelers pay homage to the that exists to punish "bad" children.

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Makati City, Philippines

Thousands of visitors make the visit to the , an epic display of over a million lights that dance in sync with music. The effects range from twinkling to dramatic color changes, making the 20,000-square-meter park feel more like a most festive club.

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Getty ImagesAllen J Schaben/Los Angeles Times
Newport Beach, California

A parade on dry land doesn't compare to the stunning sight of the . Every year, boats ranging from simple canoes to multi-million-dollar yachts get decked out in festive splendor, giving a new meaning to the term "holiday float."

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San Fernando, Philippines

The yearly pays tribute to the parol, an electric lantern that is made to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem. These giant versions feature dazzling lights and stand over 20 feet in height, creating a truly amazing display of color and movement.

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Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo's celebrations are the very definition of over-the-top, featuring millions of lights in creatively-themed displays — like the white-and-blue .

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