Japanese bathers pray for the healthy new year while dipping in a cold water tub with blocks of ice at a park adjacent to Teppozu Inari Shinto Shrine during a winter ritual in Tokyo, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017. About 100 people gathered for the mid-winter event to pray for their healthy new year and displayed their perseverance.
A weather pattern that could be associated with El Nino has turned winter upside-down across the U.S. during a week of heavy holiday travel, bringing spring-like warmth to the Northeast, a risk of tornadoes in the South and so much snow in parts of the West that there are concerns about avalanches. On Christmas Day, it could be warmer in New York City than Los Angeles.
The day in photos from around the world.
In mid-March Valencia, Spain, revels in the festival of Las Fallas. The festival is a celebration the waning days of winter and the arrival of spring. Know as the feast of Saint Joseph, the city is given over to a carnival of bonfires, fiesta, fireworks and bullfights.