Calendar: Christ is born in Liverpool, silver salvers for sale in London

Today: A Liverpudlian Nativity
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The Independent Online

Geoffrey Hughes, Cathy Tyson and Jennifer Ellison star in a contemporary version of the Christmas story set on the streets of Liverpool. It will be shown live on BBC3 at 8pm and at 11pm, and will herald the city's reign as European Capital of Culture 2008. The Nativity will be set to music by local artists including the La's, the Beatles and the Zutons.

Monday 17 December: London International Horse Show

The six-day show in Olympia's Grand Hall, west London, begins today, attracting some of the world's top equestrians. This year it marks its centenary with performances from Ukrainian Cossacks and the Household Cavalry. Visitors can enjoy a wide range of dressage and show jumping performances as well as the large horsey-gift market.

Tuesday 18 December: Hajj festival begins

Several million Muslims are expected to take part in the Hajj festival, which begins today. Literally translated as pilgrimage, the Hajj the largest such event in the world is held in four places during the sacred month of Dhu-al Hijja, the 12th and final month of the Islamic calendar. Muslims fit to travel should go to Mecca at least once.

Wednesday 19 Dec: South Korean presidential elections

The results of presidential elections taking place today will have a huge impact on South Korea's economic strategy and foreign policy. The opposition conservative leader of the Grand National Party (GNP), Lee Myung-bak, a former Hyundai boss, looks set to win after being cleared last week of allegations which linked him to a shares price-fixing scam.

Thursday 20 December: Final bids at great Savoy auction

Following its closure on Saturday for a 100m refurbishment, the Savoy Hotel in London is offering the public the chance to buy some of the most iconic items from its suites and public areas. In a three-day sale that ends today, Bonhams is auctioning up to 3,000 items, from chandeliers and works of art to more modest silver butler's plates.

Friday 21 December: EU's Schengen zone expands

From today, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic will be included in the European Union's border-and passport-free Schengen zone. Passport checks will still be performed at airports until March.

Saturday 22 Dec: The shortest day of the year

The winter solstice occurs today in the northern hemisphere, making it the shortest day of the year. Though the solstice when the sun is at its southernmost point in the sky only lasts an instant, it is often used to refer to the start of the astronomical winter. Many cultures hold celebrations and festivals of light near the winter solstice.

Forthcoming events: Guest editors on 'Today' programme

Celebrities take over at BBC Radio 4's flagship current affairs production from Boxing Day for a week of guest editors. This year's are: Dame Stella Rimington, former head of MI5; singer Damon Albarn; Professor Peter Hennessy, historian and author; and Sir Martin Evans, the 2007 winner of the Nobel Prize in medicine for work in stem cell research.