Christmas Eve in Western Christianity Date in the current year: December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve in Western Christianity Christmas Eve is the day or evening preceding Christmas Day. It falls on December 24 in Western Christianity. In some countries, the day before Christmas is observed as a public holiday.

The tradition of starting Christmas celebrations on the evening of December 24 emerged long ago. The matter is that Christian liturgical day starts at sunset, this practice was inherited from Jewish tradition. Besides, it is believed that Jesus Christ was born at night. Thus in many countries Christmas Eve is referred to as Holy Night or Good Night.

Each country has its own unique Christmas Eve traditions, but some customs associated with this holiday are well-known around the world. People gather with family and friends, decorate Christmas trees, put up Christmas lights, sing carols and have a Christmas meal. There are foods and dishes associated with the Christmas season in every country.

It is also customary to exchange presents as a symbol of gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh borne by the Magi who visited Jesus after his birth. However, not everywhere Christmas gifts are given on Christmas Eve. In some countries, people open their gifts on Christmas morning or on Boxing Day (December 26).

Although Christmas Eve is a Christian tradition, many people celebrate it as a secular holiday.

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Christmas Eve, religious holiday, public holiday, Holy Night, Western Christianity