In Pictures: Christmas trees around the world

The humble Christmas tree has a rich history, from evergreen trees used to symbolise eternal life in Ancient Egypt to tree worship among pagan Europeans. The modern version has its origins in Germany, where the song "O Tannenbaum" is still a festive favourite. Today the traditional tree with lights and decorations appears in cities including Washington, Moscow and Beirut. Alternative constructions range from recycled rubbish in Mexico City to old window frames in Rakvere, Estonia. Whatever the shape or size, the message is the same: Merry Christmas!