Special celebrations took place across the globe this week, with people everywhere honoring holiday traditions and commemorating the life of Nelson Mandela. Santa-themed runs, giant tree installations, and glowing lights channeled the Christmas spirit, and the Obamas hosted a Hanukkah reception at the White House. Meanwhile, Kate Middleton tried her hand at puppeteering, and Hillary Clinton received a top honor for her women's rights efforts. See all that and more with the week's best pictures from around the world.
Keeping With Tradition
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted a Hanukkah reception at the White House.
Kate Middleton did her best puppet routine while visiting the Shooting Star House Childrens Hospice in Hampton in London, England.
In the Spotlight
In Berlin, Germany, a group rehearsed scenes for the show "Momix: Botanica."
Christmas lights glowed at the Plaza Mayor in Madrid, Spain.
A visitor checked out some of the work at the opening day of Art Basel in Miami Beach, FL.
Japan kicked off the annual Kobe Luminarie event, which commemorates the victims of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake.
The Caldbeck cricket team participated in the first-ever underground match in Keswick, England.
People came together outside the South African Embassy in Paris, France, to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela's life following his death.
Runners dressed as Santa Claus participated in a holiday-themed run in Hanover, Germany.
O Christmas Tree
A Christmas tree was installed in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City, Italy.
Pope Francis chatted with a little girl during his weekly audience in Vatican City, Italy.
People sang during Bath Abbey's candlelit Advent Procession event.
Hillary Clinton was awarded the 2013 Tom Lantos Human Rights Prize for her efforts in women's rights at an event in Washington DC.
Artist Alex Chinneck's "The Upside Down House" was unveiled in London, England.
A colorful tunnel for pedestrians and buses opened up in Lyon, France.
Hyde Park in London, England, was filled with ice-skaters.
People representing different unions and causes gathered for a rally on social equality in NYC.
In the Haze
A woman did her morning exercises at Daming Lake Park in Jinan, China, following a smog warning.
Thai monks stood beside a portrait of Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej to celebrate his birthday in Bangkok on Dec. 5.
Unseasonably warm weather brought heavy fog to NYC.
Chicagoans visited the Christkindlmarket, a German-themed holiday market, in Daley Plaza.