Christmas Eve, as the name suggests, is celebrated all over the world in the evening, a day before Christmas, i.e. on the 24th of December. It is believed that Jesus was born at the stroke of midnight, and thus the night before is considered to be the Holy Night. The celebrations of Christmas since time immemorial have included the Christmas Eve because as per a tradition inherited from the Jewish, the Christian liturgical day begins at sunset.
Christmas Eve comes with its own charm, customs and traditions.
In Churches all over the world Midnight Mass Communion Service are conducted, the only service to be conducted after sunset.
Some people abstain from eating meat of any kind on Christmas Eve, while is some countries there is the Christmas feast is held before midnight mass.
Many people exchange gifts on Christmas Eve.
Christmas Eve is also the time to light the Yule Log with the help of the remains of the previous year’s log, which burns till the Twelfth Night.
Some people also believe that the Christmas Tree, mistletoe, Holly, Ivy etc can be brought into the house only on Christmas Eve.
Carols are sung all over the world on this holy evening.
Christmas Eve is the time when Santa, Father Christmas, Christkind, and Saint Nicholas set out to distribute gifts to those who have been good during the year.
There are different ways of celebrating Christmas Eve, and in recent times, the fun factor has also been included to it. Families spend time together in the following ways:
Above all the Christian families try to being in the spirit of Christ into the festival; through kindness and spreading joy.
Families head for the candlelight service in the church with some even taking communion.
Children try to track Santa and even leave cookies for him near the fireplace.
Christmas feasts are held and some big families head for restaurants for a low-stress, budget-friendly meal.
There is a tradition of playing the elf in some families. While leaving a restaurant, they quietly pay the check for another family and wait outside to catch the look of pleasant surprise on their faces.
Many open their first gift on this evening and it would invariably be a pajama.
After a drive to see the Christmas lights, children especially go to bed early in the anticipation of gifts in the morning.
Family and friends snuggle up with hot chocolate and magical Christmas stories, listening to Christmas songs, or watch the famous movie Polar Express.
Siblings take this opportunity to have a slumber party and sleep in the same room.
Some spread the cheer by going around the neighbourhood singing Christmas carols.
The Christmas feast favourites are:
Leg of lamb
Christmas is indeed a magical time when there is joy and cheer all around. Here is to wishing you all a Merry Christmas!!