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.
The longest Stollen cake, the biggest nativity scene, the oldest market - in the run up to Christmas, Germany is gripped by the desire to break records. But do these spectacles really attract more visitors and money?
Street carnival starts on Thursday in the city of Cologne, and as always, it will draw thousands of revelers. If you follow the articles of Cologne's Basic Law, you'll enjoy what people there call the "fifth season."
Millions of Orthodox Christians have marked the birth of Christ with mass and prayers on Wednesday. In an unprecedented move, Egypt's President El-Sissi also briefly visited a Coptic cathedral on their Christmas Eve.
Christians from around the world have assembled in the West Bank town of Bethlehem to celebrate Christmas. There are thought to be fewer than in past years due to the Gaza conflict of this past summer.