There was a time when the World Wide Web was merely a huge repository of text files. With the coming of broadband, advanced browsers, digital cameras, and social media, however, the Web has become a visual medium. Images of events both significant and insignificant can now be easily captured and presented for your edification and amusement.
The following series of images highlights some of the top trending photos, most popular, and most liked content on the Facebook and Twitter pages of the Associated Press for the year 2013.
1. Dog at the Tihar Festival, Nepal
A Nepalese woman carries a dog decorated with a vermillion tika mark in her bag after performing rituals during the five-day Tihar festival celebrations in Katmandu, Nepal, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013.
Dogs are worshiped to acknowledge their role in providing security during the second day of the Tihar festival, an important Hindu/Buddhist festival dedicated to the worship of the goddess of wealth and prosperity, Laxmi. The occasion is a time for cooking delicious meals at home, brothers and sisters shopping for gifts, decorating homes and streets, flying kites, playing cards with friends, resting and relaxing, and finally ending the festival with an exchange of the special temporary mark on forehead — “tika” in Nepali.
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2. Malaysia National Day
Malaysian students wave their national flags during the 56th National Day celebrations at Independence Square in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013.
3. A Living Goddess, Katmandu
A young Nepalese girl dressed as a Kumari, or living goddess, smiles as she waits for Kumari puja at Hanuman Dhoka, Basantapur Durbar Square in Katmandu, Nepal, on Tuesday, Sept 17, 2013. The ritual holds a strong religious significance in the Nepalese Newari community. It is a community affair held primarily to save small girls from diseases and bad luck in the years to come.
4. Philippines Rebel Standoff
Residents try to put out a fire that gutted several homes while government troops continued their assault on Muslim rebels on Thursday Sept. 12, 2013, in Zamboanga city in southern Philippines. Philippine troops battled Muslim rebels on two fronts that day, after about 100 extremists attacked a second city near the southern port where guerrillas had been holding scores of residents hostage in a four-day standoff with government forces.
5. Medal of Honor Winner Swenson
President Barack Obama awards the Medal of Honor to former Army Capt. William D. Swenson during a ceremony in the East Room at the White House on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013. Swenson was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in a lengthy battle against Taliban insurgents in the Ganjgal valley near the Pakistan border on Sept. 8, 2009, which claimed the lives of five Americans, 10 Afghan army troops, and an interpreter.
6. Superstorm by the Seaside
In the above combination of Monday, Feb. 25, 2013 and Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013 photos, the sun rises in Seaside Heights, N.J., behind the Jet Star Roller Coaster which had been sitting in the ocean after part of the Casino Pier was destroyed during Superstorm Sandy. The bottom photo shows the empty site nearly a year after the storm.
7. Superstorm Sandy and Fire, New York
This combination of Oct. 30, 2012 and Oct. 15, 2013 photos shows damage caused by a fire in the Breezy Point section of the Queens borough of New York in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, and the same site nearly a year later.
8. Peppering Protest, Rio de Janeiro
A military policeman pepper sprays a protester during a demonstration in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Monday, June 17, 2013. Protesters massed in at least seven Brazilian cities that day for another round of demonstrations voicing disgruntlement about life in the country, raising questions about security during big events like the then-current Confederations Cup, and a papal visit the following month.
9. Fantasy vs. Reality for a Syrian Refugee Girl
On Oct. 21, 2013, a Syrian refugee girl plays with a toy gun at her family's house in Zarqa, Jordan's industrial center, where thousands of Syrian refugees are living, northeast of the capital Amman. More than 420,000 Syrian refugees have settled in Jordan's cities, struggling for survival on U.N. food stamps and straining the meager resources of a country that absorbed millions of exiles from the region's hotspots in the past.
10. Russian Gay Law Protests
Demonstrators hold a poster with a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin during a protest march in Berlin, Germany on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013, against the new Russian anti-gay law. The new law penalizes anyone who distributes information aimed at persuading minors that "nontraditional" relationships are normal or attractive.
11. Boys’ Life, Pakistani Style
Pakistani boys, who were displaced with their families from Pakistan's tribal areas due to fighting between the Taliban and the army, pose for a photograph on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan, on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013.
12. Fashion Extraordinaire
A model presents a creation by designer Patrick Mohr at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week for autumn/winter 2013 in Berlin on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013.
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13. Pass the Mascara and Peanuts, Please
A decorated elephant stands at the Nandankanan Zoological park on the outskirts of the eastern Indian city of Bhubaneswar, India, on Friday, Oct. 4, 2013. Wildlife week is celebrated in India from Oct. 2 to 8.
14. Picture Postcard Perfect
A visitor takes pictures of the Alps from a platform on a sunny day at Germany's highest mountain, the Zugspitze (2,962 meters, or 9,718 feet) near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, southern Germany, on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013.
15. A Tashlich Ceremony, Israel
Ultra-Orthodox Jews of the Hassidic sect Vizhnitz gather on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean sea as they participate in a Tashlich ceremony in Herzeliya, Israel, on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013. Tashlich, which means “to cast away” in Hebrew, is the practice by which Jews go to a large flowing body of water and symbolically “throw away” their sins by throwing a piece of bread or similar food into the water before the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, which started on that Friday.
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