Christmas Eve is referred to the day before Christmas or the day on which Jesus Christ was born. Today, people across the world give gifts to each other, and buy and decorate their Christmas trees. But Christmas Eve has significant religious importance as well.
Christmas Eve 2020: Date
Christmas Eve 2020 will be celebrated on December 24 as per the Gregorian calendar and it marks the culmination of the Advent Season. According to Catholic Church, Advent is a period of preparation extending over the four Sundays before Christmas. Advent refers to the coming of Christ as the word has been derived from the Latin word Advenio. After being observed for about a month, it culminates a day before December 25.
Christmas Eve 2020: Significance
Christmas Eve is believed to be the day when Santa Claus begins his journey from the North Pole to deliver the gifts for children all over the world. Santa leaves the presents in the sock kept outside by kids and gorges on the milk and cookies left for him.
From the religious aspect, Christmas is a feast and has four specific Masses with different readings. These are the Vigil of the Nativity of the Lord, Mass at Midnight, Mass at Dawn, and Mass During the Day. The Vigil Mass is celebrated starting in the late afternoon of December 24 so that the Christmas vigil begins a day early. Also on the midnight of Christmas Eve, Midnight Mass is organised.
People visit churches, light their homes and praying places with candles. Carols are sung in almost all churches and these serve as the practice sessions before the mass for Christmas. Christmas trees are decorated and people leave their gifts under the tree as well.
Many European countries celebrate Christmas on the 24th as they celebrate the night that Sinterklaas or Santa Claus is flying over the earth. In Germany, Austria, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Switzerland, gifts are exchanged on December 24 as well. People in these countries begin their Christmas festivities with the gifts being exchanged.