Christmas Eve

When is Christmas Eve 2021?

Christmas Eve 2021 is on Friday, December 24, 2021.

Calendar for 2021 / Calendar for 2022

What is Christmas Eve?

Christmas Eve refers to the evening or entire day preceding Christmas Day, the main day of Christmas, a widely celebrated festival commemorating the birth of Jesus of Nazareth that takes place on December 25. It is a culturally significant celebration for most of the Western world and is widely observed as a full or partial holiday in anticipation of Christmas Day.

One reason celebrations occur on Christmas Eve is because the traditional Christian liturgical day starts at sunset, an inheritance from Jewish tradition. This liturgical day is followed for all days in the Eastern rite and the custom of beginning Christmas celebration (as well as Sunday and the other major festivals) in the preceding evening is preserved in western Churches that have altered the liturgical day to start at midnight, for example the Roman Catholic Church. Many churches still ring their church bells and hold prayers in the evening before holidays.

Since Christian tradition holds that Jesus was born at night, Midnight Mass is celebrated on Christmas Eve, traditionally at midnight, in commemoration of his birth. The idea of Jesus being born at night is reflected in the fact that Christmas Eve is referred to as “Heilige Nacht” (“Holy Night”) in German, “Nochebuena” (“the Good Night”) in Spanish and similarly in other expressions of Christmas spirituality, such as the song “Silent Night, Holy Night”.

Read more about Christmas on Wikipedia.

When is Christmas Eve 2022?

Christmas Eve 2022 is on Saturday, December 24, 2022. Calendar for 2022
Christmas 2023 December 24, 2022 Sunday
Christmas 2024 December 24, 2023 Tuesday
Christmas 2025 December 24, 2024 Wednesday
Christmas 2026 December 24, 2025 Thursday
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Ancient Pagan Festival Saturnalia

Saturnalia is an ancient Roman pagan festival honoring the agricultural god Saturn. Saturnalia held on 17 December of the Julian calendar and later expanded with festivities through to 23 December. Saturnalia celebrations are the source of many of the traditions we now associate with Christmas.