Sand art Santa Claus, cribs and carols, and a message from the pope about the plight of refugees – here are glimpses of Christmas celebrations from across the world.

“No one should feel there is no room for them on this earth,” Pope Francis said, as he highlighted the plight of refugees and migrants all over the world in his Christmas Eve Mass speech at the Vatican.

In India, the run up to the festival was peppered with controversies with right-wing Hindu groups targeting celebrations. The Madhya Pradesh police detained a group of Catholic seminarians and priests on December 15 as they were out singing carols in Satna, while the Hindu Jagran Manch warned education institutes in the Uttar Pradesh district of Aligarh not to celebrate the festival. In Kerala’s cyclone-affected fishing villages, the celebrations were muted.

The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Pierbattista Pizzaballa, leads a Christmas midnight mass at the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, on Monday. (Photo credit: Mussa Qawasama/AFP)
Pope Francis arrives to celebrate mass on Christmas Eve on Sunday at St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. (Photo credit: Andreas Solaro/AFP)
A man dressed in a Santa Claus outfit waves to people from a boat along the coast of Valparaiso, Chile, on Sunday. (Photo credit: Rodrigo Garrido/Reuters)

Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik on Monday said he had set a new world record by creating the biggest sand art of Santa Claus.

A child looks at the nativity scene on display at a church in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, on Monday. (Photo credit: IANS)

Mumbaikars flocked to Mount Mary Church in suburban Bandra for the midnight mass. In Worli area of the city, a 65-feet tall pine tree was tagged as India’s tallest fully decorated Christmas tree.

Worshippers pray at a church in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, on Monday. (Photo credit: Amit Dave/Reuters)
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the midnight prayers at the St Paul's Cathedral in Kolkata on Monday. (Photo credit: IANS)
Believers of the Legio Maria of African Church Mission at their overnight Christmas Mass at the church near Ugunja in the western part of Kenya, on Monday. (Photo credit:Fredrik Lerneryd/AFP)
Nuns offer prayer at a church in Guwahati on Monday. (Photo credit: IANS)
Belarusian children perform before a mass at a Catholic church in the town of Dyatlovo, Belarus, on Monday. (Photo credit: Vasily Fedosenko/Reuters)