By Deepti Dogra
New Delhi [India], December 24 (ANI): As Christmas is around the corner, everyone is preparing for the festive season in their own way. You might be thinking of cosying up with your family and friends with some hot cocoa but that's not the only option you have.
Instead of Christmas parties and get-togethers, people also like to travel during the holiday season. While travelling could have been a great option to celebrate Christmas with your family and friends, now seems like a bad idea due to the rising Omicron cases.
Even if you can't travel at the moment, you can surely enjoy reading about it in your blanket while sipping a cup of hot coffee. So, let's have a look at some of the best places to visit during Christmas and how the celebrations have been affected due to COVID-19.
1. London, England
Celebrating Christmas in London is truly a magical experience as it is full of unbelievable activities that you wouldn't want to miss even in the freezing temperature. You will already be in awe of the city once you see the glittery Christmas lights all over the place. However, due to the spread of the Omicron virus, Christmas shopping has already taken a step back.
There has been a blow for pubs and restaurants so you might not be able to party all night during Christmas. Along with that, there won't be any public transport available on the day of Christmas. However, you can always check out Tower Bridge, Houses of Parliament and Trafalgar Square. For a nice walk with your family, do go to London's Royal Parks as well as enjoy at The Serpentine Lake at Hyde Park. And you can't obviously miss out on the Christmas day services at one of their beautiful cathedrals.
2. New York City, USA
If you're celebrating Christmas in New York City, you better be all set to protect yourself from the Omicron variant of COVID-19. Due to the spread of the new variant, you won't be able to see the Broadway show but Christmas still won't be a dull holiday for you.
You can visit Macy's Santaland, especially if you have kids. The good news is that ice-skating at Bryant Park or Rockefeller Center is still available. Although some restaurants are closed, some are still open and ready to serve you happily.
3. The Vatican, Italy
The Christmas season in the Vatican begins on 8th December every year and the Christmas Eve Mass is traditionally celebrated in St.Peter's Basilica. However, this time, due to the spread of the Omicron variant, the celebration at the Vatican will be low-key.
One sight that is a must to see is the St. Peter's Square Christmas tree, adorned beautifully. Apart from that, you can also have a look at the beautiful nativity presented at St Peter's Square. For the first time ever, the nightscape with be illuminated with an LED system which will be a sight to capture.
4. Dublin, Ireland
Planning to celebrate Christmas in Dublin? Be prepared to stand in queues for Christmas shopping at the Grafton Street and Nespresso outline on South Anne Street. Although the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is in the air in Dublin, the pubs and cafes are still open.
However, Christmas celebrations in Dublin are still quiet and not as hyped as pre-pandemic. All bars, restaurants and live music venues would have to close by 8 pm due to the curfew.
Although the Omicron variant has started spreading globally, Singapore is currently out of the 'at-risk' list for Indians. You can always opt to celebrate Christmas in Singapore as it has a mixed bag of activities planned for you. Indulge in ice-skating at the CHIJMES Skating Rink or look out for dreamy snow play domes at the Capitol Singapore.
Apart from that, Universal Studios Singapore will be hosting its first Christmas market, offering locally produced artisanal snacks and homemade festive desserts. Along with that, you can also check out the Museum of Ice Cream as well as shop more at the Christmas Atelier.
6. Dubai, UAE
Dubai is known for its spectacular celebrations, especially during Christmas. The place is all dolled up for the people and tourists to be in awe. Although this year the Omicron variant has stepped in, there aren't many restrictions for celebrating this beautiful festival in Dubai.
Dining at McGettigan is a great option especially if you are with your partner. Apart from that, there will be special shows at the Dubai Opera for you to enjoy. And don't forget to visit Legoland Dubai if you are going with your family! You can also shop for your Christmas gifts there and surprise everyone back home. Talking about Christmas markets, you can visit Bab Al Shams, Ski Dubai, Mall of Emirates as well as Madinat Jumeirah's Winter Wonderland.
7. Mexico City, Mexico
After two years, Mexico City is back with a bang to celebrate Christmas! The celebrations begin at the Zocalo square as the COVID-19 restrictions have been eased. You can enjoy festivities like the light show and also visit the amusement park.
Along with that, do take a ride on the Ferris wheel, a merry-go-round and a rollercoaster. Their traditions include 9 days of "Posadas" or gatherings that immortalize Mary and Joseph's wanderings as they searched for lodging.
Travelling during Christmas is always a great option to breathe in the different cultures of the world. However, make sure that you are all set with your RT-PCR test which is negative, of course, before travelling. Apart from that, always wear a face mask and carry a sanitiser with you to be on the safer side. Merry Christmas! (ANI)
Omicron leads to low-key Christmas celebrations around the world
By Deepti Dogra