RELIGION
12/22/2011 09:49 am ET | Updated Dec 22, 2011

Christmas Traditions Around The World

Sparkling Christmas trees, Santa, reindeer, Jingle Bells, a bounty of shopping, nativity plays and Midnight Mass.

To most Americans, Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without at least a few of these traditions and celebrations.

But as a religion with more than 2.2 billion adherents, something as simple as a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ has taken on enormously different shapes and styles across the globe. In many places, the most important Christmas celebrations don't even take place on December 25.

From the colorful Simbang Gabi Mass celebrations of Filipino Catholics and the dancing Koledari carolers of Bulgaria and Macedonia to Mexican Posadas and the elaborate Ganna processions of Ethiopia, here's a sampling of the spiritual and cultural dimensions of one of the biggest holidays in the world.

ALL-ALSO-ON-HUFFPOST

CONVERSATIONS