Christmas Eve 2023: December 24 is Christmas Eve, which is likely one of the best nights of the year. At Christmas, we remember how lucky we are to have so many good things in our lives. It brings families and friends together. Put on your cozy pajamas, turn on the stove, call your friends and family, and add some fluffy marshmallows to your hot cocoa.
When is Christmas Eve 2023?
Christmas Eve is December 24. It’s the last day of Advent, which begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Eve and ends on Christmas Eve. In many places, midnight prayers are held to mark the end of Advent. Most people celebrate it on the night before Christmas Day these days.
Christmas Eve 2023: History
The custom of enjoying Christmas Eve comes from the Christian ritual, which starts at sunset and is based on the story of creation in the Book of Genesis. People think that Jesus was born in Palestine at midnight. This custom has been around since the early days of Christianity. It marks the end of Advent, which starts on November 30 in the West and November 15 in the East. Service times at many churches start on the fourth Sunday before Christmas.
The Holy Inquisition made people follow Christian customs from the 1200s to the 1400s. In the 1600s, the church was inspired by celebrations of the Winter Solstice and started getting ready for Christmas the night before. In many parts of Europe, people think that at midnight on Christmas Eve, animals can speak for a short time. This idea might have something to do with the ox and donkey being traditionally linked in the Nativity scene.
In addition to its Christian meaning, Christmas Eve is also linked to paganism and magical beliefs. People in Scandinavia think that the dead go back to their old places on Christmas Eve. Before going to bed, people clean their living rooms, light candles, set the table, leave food out for ghosts, and wipe down their chairs.
People started to celebrate Christmas as a holiday in the 1800s, and it is still a big part of Christian society. The holiday has become even more well-known in the last one hundred years thanks to Santa Claus. Aside from Santa Claus and Christianity, Christmas Eve is a time to spend with family and friends over dinner, decorating, wrapping gifts, and watching Christmas movies.
Facts about Christmas Eve
- Scientists found that Santa needs to go 650 miles per second to get everything done on Christmas Eve.
- In the past one hundred years, it was common to spend Christmas Eve telling scary ghost stories to each other.
- In many church services on Christmas Eve, the Christ light in the middle of the Advent tree is lit.
- Christians have a practice of putting together a new Nativity scene every year, sometimes with live actors.
- In some places, like Australia, Germany, Portland, and some parts of Latin America, people give and open gifts on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas.
Things to do on Christmas Eve
Check out the Christmas lights
Put on some warm clothes and go for a walk in your neighbourhood to check out the Christmas lights.
Make your gingerbread house
You can buy a ready-made gingerbread house kit or make your own. This is a fun and creative thing for kids to do, and they can sneak candy while they work.
Time for a Christmas story
Before going to bed, read a few Christmas stories. You can also give them a new Christmas book every year to read together.
A stream of Christmas movies
Put on your favourite Christmas movies and curl up on the couch to watch them.
Games for a Christmas party
Make memories that will last a lifetime by playing games with family and friends.
Skate on the ice
This can help you feel like it’s the Christmas season. Also, there may be a Christmas tree and music for the holiday.
Some cookies for Santa
Santa will be able to bring gifts if you leave a dish of cookies and a glass of milk by the tree.
On Christmas Eve, Christian churches also hold services, Midnight Masses, lantern vigils, Nativity plays, and singing.