Christmas Eve is the day or the evening before Christmas Day. It is celebrated by most Christians all over the world on the night of 24 December every year. On this occasion, people usually gather with their family to have a feast or go to a church to celebrate Midnight Mass. There is also tradition of giving gifts to families or friends during Christmas Eve as a symbol of attention and affection.
When is Christmas Eve 2013?
Christmas Eve 2013 will be celebrated on Tuesday, 24 December 2013.
When is Christmas Eve 2014?
Christmas Eve 2013 will be celebrated on Wednesday, 24 December 2013.
The Origin of Christmas Eve Celebration
The celebration of Christmas Eve is carried out based on the view that Jesus was born at night (based in Luke 2:6-8). To commemorate the birth of Jesus, Midnight Mass is celebrated during or before midnight on Christmas Eve. The view concerning Jesus born at night makes Germany people refer to the event as Heilige Nacth (Holy Night) while Spanish people call it as Nochebuena (Good Night).
Christmas Eve Celebrations
Different countries have different tradition in celebrating Christmas Eve. However, Christian people in most countries usually celebrate the event by gathering with family and have a big meal. Roman Catholics and Anglicans also celebrate Midnight Mass on the church before midnight on the Christmas Eve. Spanish and Spanish speaking people even start the celebration of Midnight Mass as early as 7 pm.
During Christmas Eve, many people have the tradition of giving gifts to the children. The parents pretend that the gifts are given by Santa Claus or Christkind when the children and all family members are asleep. Santa Clause is known as Weihnachtsmann in Germany, Joulupukki in Finland, and Jultomten in Sweden. People in Europe, US, and some parts of Latin America will open their presents on either the evening of 24 December or in the morning of Christmas Day, while Spanish people have a tradition of unwrapping the gifts in the morning of Epiphany Day on the following 6 January.