Every year in December, the hamlet of Wieda in the Harz region is transformed. Twenty life-sized manger scenes appear in gardens and garages, depicting the story behind the Christian Christmas festival, the birth of Jesus in a stable in Bethlehem.
Christmas begins in Rome with the inauguration of a giant Christmas tree and a larger-than-life Nativity scene in St Peter's Square, as part of the Vatican's seasonal traditions.
Pope Francis is going to need a microscope to see this year's Christmas gift from Lithuania. The small Baltic country has given Francis a microscopic nativity scene where baby Jesus is smaller than a human cell.
Carnival starts in Cologne's streets on Thursday and as always, it will draw thousands of revelers. If you follow the wise articles of Cologne's "Basic Law," you, too, can enjoy what people there call the "fifth season."
The four alleged 'IS' supporters are believed to have known Berlin Christmas market attacker Anis Amri. The trial is expected to offer insights into the Islamist scene in the German capital.
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