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5 global ways to get into the Christmas spirit

Finding it hard to get excited about Christmas? Here are five events guaranteed to get you ho-ho-going

Santas on the run (Santa Dash Liverpool)

1. Liverpool Santa Dash, UK

Every December, you'll find charity runs the world over where people dress up as Santa. But only the one in Liverpool features blue Santas. They're Everton supporters, you see, and nothing, not even Christmas, will convince them to dress in the colours of their arch-rivals, Liverpool.

When: 1 December 2013

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2. Quema del Diablo, Guatemala

Guatemalans believe that the devil lurks in their rubbish and amid the untidy spaces of their houses. So every Christmas locals gather together their piles of garbage in the middle of the street, plonk an effigy of the devil on top and set it all alight on the night of 7 December. The festival has the dual purpose of exorcising the devil and ensuring domestic harmony in the run-up to Christmas. Perhaps that's why we've just had a big pre-Christmas clean-up here at the Towers.

When: 7 December

3. Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico

Few countries in the world celebrate Christmas as enthusiastically as the Mexicans. And the day set aside for venerating the country's patron saint, Our Lady of Guadalupe, officially gets the celebrations started. Expect dancing, eating, music and fireworks. Lots of fireworks.

When: 12 December

4. Giant Lantern Festival, Philippines

After the devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan, Filipinos could do with a bit of cheering up. Perhaps this festival will do the trick. Held on the last Saturday before Christmas in the city of San Fernando, villagers compete to build the largest and most decorative lanterns humanly possible, incorporating light effects and projected images into a sometimes psychedelic end-product. First organised in 1931, last year an estimated 350,000 foreign and local tourists travelled to San Fernando to attend the festival. 

When: 21 December

UK Christmas Markets (Image: Visit Bath)

5. Visit a Christmas market

Snack on a sausage, slurp down some gluhwein and waste your money on tinsel-covered gifts and decorations. Market squares across Europe – and the world – sprout stalls throughout December. And thanks to the hard work of our Intern Tom, it's never been easier to find one near you!

Western Europe's top 7 unique Christmas markets

Central and Eastern Europe's best Christmas markets

Canada's top 5 Christmas markets

The UK's 7 best Christmas markets

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