Tibb’s Eve in Newfoundland and Labrador Date in the current year: December 23, 2024

Tibb’s Eve in Newfoundland and Labrador In the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Christmas season begins with an unusual celebration known as Tibb’s Eve, Tip’s Eve, Tipp’s Eve or Tipsy Eve. On this day, it is customary to have a couple of drinks (or even get drunk, it’s up to you really) in the company of friends, opening the Christmas holiday season.

It is believed that the name of the holiday was derived from the archaic word “tibb” that used to denote a loose-moraled, sexually promiscuous woman. Such a character was often used in 17th century English plays for comic relief. Adults would use the phrase “Saint Tibb” in their conversations so that children thought they were referring to a real saint and didn’t understand the real meaning of the conversation.

However, there isn’t the only theory regarding the name of the celebration. Some believe that the expression “St. Tibb’s eve” was a euphemism for “never” because it is a day that does not exist. Gradually, the words “Tibb’s Eve” transformed into a similar-sounding expression “Tipsy Eve”, which much better reflects the essence of the holiday. Finally, the third theory claims that Tibb’s Eve was derived from the verb “to tipple”, which means “to imbibe”.

The holiday itself, however, isn’t quite as old as the word used in its name. It is believed that the tradition of drinking on December 23 originated in Newfoundland and Labrador in the mid-20th century. At the time, a lot of residents of the province were believers and would abstain from alcohol during the Advent (the pre-Christmas period observed by Catholics and some Protestants). Traditionally people would wait until Christmas Day to have a drink. Tibb’s Eve emerged as an excuse to drink alcohol two days earlier.

On December 23, residents of Newfoundland and Labrador meet with family and friends to have a glass or two. Many bars and pubs host gigs for local bands because on Tibb’s Eve musicians are guaranteed to have an audience. Those who don’t like noisy gatherings in public places just visit those of their friends or relatives whom they won’t have a chance to meet during the Christmas holidays.

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Tibb’s Eve, Tip’s Eve, Tipp’s Eve, Tipsy Eve, holidays in Canada, holidays in Newfoundland and Labrador