Traditionally, Christmas is a Christian holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. For many practicing Christians, it involves attending Mass, listening to a sermon detailing Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem, decorating with a Nativity scene and perhaps singing traditional hymns.
As Christianity spread across the globe, the diversity of cultures it encompassed meant that celebrations varied considerably region by region. Many countries' "Christmas" traditions were influenced by or taken directly from winter solstice celebrations of the pre-Christian religions native to the particular regions. Some customs remained particular to their places of origin, whereas others gained popularity around the world. Modern use of the Christmas tree, for instance, had its origins in the snowy, forested country of Germany, when devout Christians started bringing evergreens into their homes in the 15th century. The legend of Santa Claus is often traced back to the monk St. Nicholas, born in modern-day Turkey around 280 A.D. and known for giving away his wealth to the poor and aiding the sick.
Although the US is a comparatively young country and you might expect the seasonal celebrations to be fairly uniform, there's still a surprising variety across states, thanks to the country's diverse immigrant background and its own quirky history. For many folks, it's a secular holiday. Unexpected foodstuffs, one-of-a-kind festivals, unconventional "trees" ... Can you guess where they're from? Strap on your jingle bells and take this quiz to find out.