While Americans may find it hard to imagine a Christmas without Santa Claus, sugar cookies and plenty of pretty packages, the traditions of the holiday can vary dramatically depending on where you are in the world. Across the globe, people have their own special meals, celebrations and gift-giving legends that help to define the holiday for different cultures. Take our quiz to see how much you know about Christmas celebrations around the world!
What country is plagued by mischievous goblins in the days leading up to Christmas?
In Greece, kallikantzaroi -- tiny goblins who are generally up to no good -- spring loose in the 12 days leading up to Christmas to wreak havoc on holiday festivities.
In traditional Greek celebrations, the exchange of gifts doesn't take place on Christmas Day. Instead, Greeks wait until St. Basil's Day on January 1 to pass the presents. They also sing carols, known as kalanda in Greek.
What is the most popular dish to eat on Christmas in Japan?
Like many eastern cultures, the Japanese don't really celebrate Christmas. Thanks to a very effective 1970s marketing campaign by KFC, however, many Japanese line up to patronize their favorite fried chicken restaurant on December 25.
Christmas lights go up in September in the Philippines.
The Philippines beats even the U.S. for getting Christmas decorations up well in advance of the big day. Particularly popular in the Philippines are lighted star lanterns known as parols, which represent the Star of Bethlehem.
The oldest daughter in each family rises before the rest of her family members to celebrate St. Lucia Day. She dons a white gown and lighted crown before waking the rest of the family for a candlelit breakfast.
What does the word Yule translate to in the Norse language?
The modern Yule log likely originated in Norway. The word Yule comes from the Norse word hweol, meaning wheel. The Norse believed that the sun was a wheel of fire, so all Yule festivities are really a nod to the sun itself.
The Germans were the first to celebrate the holiday with an evergreen tree back in the 17th century. By the 1820s, German immigrants had brought the tradition to Pennsylvania, and the concept quickly spread throughout the Western world.
Which country gave the poinsettia its Christmas connection?
John Poinsett brought the colorful plant from Mexico to the U.S. in 1828. Within half a century, U.S. stores were selling poinsettias specifically during the Christmas season thanks to their bright red leaves.
While nearby neighbors in Norway incorporate the Yule log into traditional celebrations, people in Sweden construct Julbok -- a Yule goat made from straw. Like the Yule log, it has ancient, pagan roots.
What country hosts a Declaration of Christmas Peace every December 24 at noon?
Finland holds a Declaration of Christmas Peace at noon on Christmas Eve. That night, Joulupukki -- that's Santa to English speakers -- travels with his reindeer to deliver gifts throughout the country.
Las Parrandas is one of the oldest holiday festivals in the world. It starts on December 16 and runs through the 24. During this period, Cubans throw wild parties, parades and fireworks shows to usher in Christmas.
Ded Moroz replaced Saint Nicholas as the traditional Christmas gift giver in Russia during the Communist era. The name translates to Grandfather Frost, and he is often accompanied by a young girl known as the Snow Maiden.
What is a traditional decoration on Ukrainian Christmas trees?
In a popular Ukrainian folk tale a woman too poor to decorate her tree woke to find it glistening from the webs of a spider. Modern Ukrainian families still add spiders and webs (typically fake ones) to their trees to pay homage to this tale.
People in Jamaica welcome Christmas with a festival called Jonkunnu, which consists of a parade and African-inspired dances. A holiday shop known as the Gran' Market allows people to buy last-minute gifts and generally springs up between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day.
How many gift-givers hand out presents in Iceland?
In Iceland, there's no need for a sleigh pulled by reindeer. Instead, 13 Santas -- known as Yule Lads -- travel on foot to deliver gifts to children in each town or village. Gifts arrive on Christmas Eve, but the festivities last until Epiphany on January 6th.
What date do Russian children receive their holiday gifts?
Some Russian families wait until after Epiphany to deliver gifts on January 7. Instead of Santa, gifts come from an old woman named Babouschka. The tale is inspired by a biblical story of an old woman who refuses to give a gift to the baby Jesus.
What is el Gordo -- another Spanish Christmas tradition?
a big meal
Forget gifts -- Spaniards buy tons of tickets for one of the world's biggest lotteries, which is awarded during the Christmas season. Known as el Gordo, or The Fat One, the lottery dates back more than 200 years, and features hundreds of millions in prizes.