Golden Christmas Eve

Golden Christmas EveChristmas Eve is observed on December 24th, a day before Christmas, in almost the whole of the Christian world. It is traditionally been set aside as the day for decorating churches and homes. It also marks the commencement of the time officially known as Christmas-tide. Christmas Eve is also an important day for religious reasons such as midnight mass. Night time on Christmas Eve is looked forward to with great eagerness by all children since this is the time when Santa Claus comes calling.

Customs and traditions

Christmas Eve is a combination of a lot of traditions and customs. Many families celebrate Christmas Eve with dinners, visiting and carol-singing, followed by midnight church services. . Attending midnight mass is said to be a way to rejoice in the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. Preparations for Christmas Eve take all day. The house is cleaned, food prepared not only for the special supper but also for the first day of Christmas. Some common customs followed are:

  1. Norwegian people believe that Christmas Peace descends at 4 o’clock in the afternoon.
  2. Polish families believe Christmas Eve celebrations begin when the first star is spotted, symbolizing the Star of Bethlehem.
  3. Italian families often fast for 24-hours prior to Christmas Eve, then gather to eat a meatless meal on the eve.
  4. Germans call the night before Christmas or Christmas Eve ‘Heilig Abend’, meaning holy night.
  5. In America, children leave out milk and cookies for Santa (and special cookies for Rudolf the reindeer) and go to bed early so as not to miss out on gifts from Santa Claus.


  • Since a new day begins at midnight, the ‘eve’ is evening of the previous day; hence, ‘Christmas Eve’ is the day before Christmas.
  • The French have the superstition that on Christmas Eve all water will turn to wine. They also believe that on this day animals will begin to speak in the human tongue at the stroke of midnight.
  • Scandinavians believe that Christmas Eve is the time when the dead revisit their old homes. They come visiting their kinsfolk and partake of the Christmas festivities and dinner that is considerately left behind for them before the family repairs to bed.
  • In Russia all sorts of buried treasures are supposed to be revealed on the evenings between Christmas and the Epiphany.

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