NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Christmastime tradition took over the city Saturday, as thousands gathered to give meaning to the phrase, “Eat, drink and be merry.”

Crowds gathered at drinking establishments across the city decked out in their best Santa attire for the annual SantaCon pub crawl. The event began at 10 a.m., with so many participants that there were multiple starting points, which were announced Friday night on the event’s Web site.

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The thirsty Santas hit the bars for the Christmastime drinking bash, a tradition which began in San Francisco in 1994 and has since made it’s way to several other cities across the country.

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As the official NYC SantaCon Web site states, “Santacon is a non-denominational, non-commercial, non-political and non-sensical Santa Claus convention that occurs once a year for absolutely no reason.”

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On Saturday, Santa imitators hit the bars not just in New York City, but in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia.