Christmas Eve: Celebrating the night before Christmas
Everyone celebrates Christmas that is generally the 25th of December. It is the most talked about of all the days celebrated throughout the year. However the Christmas celebrations begin from the night before Christmas and continue for a long time. The spirit of Christmas sets in from Christmas Eve. Families and friends according to the tradition spend the night before Christmas together. It is that time when people give the last touches to their decorations and see that whether everything that is needed for the feast is there in the house or not. The last minute wrapping up of presents is done and quietly kept under the tree with the name of each one for whom it is written on it. As per the tradition goes the celebration of the Christmas Eve is no less important than that of celebration of the Christmas day itself.
Going to the Midnight Mass
Jesus, who is believed to have been born on the 25th of December is also said by some was born exactly when the clock struck twelve. This is the religious belief which led to the establishment of the concept of the midnight masses. Nowadays midnight masses are held in every church of the city, town or village. People of various religious beliefs come together to hear the mass at midnight and to pay homage to the savior of mankind. This idea originated from Rome from the church of Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica where the Pope used to come and deliver a sermon or prayer at the stroke of twelve ushering in the auspicious day of Christmas. There were only a few amount of people present then but gradually this tradition took roots and people from afar began celebrating and cherishing the tradition of the midnight mass.
Last touches of the Christmas decorations
Traditionally, Christmas Eve is the time for decorating the Christmas tree. But today the decorations are done way before hand. However in keeping a little bit with the custom people keep the Christmas Eve for the last minute touch ups for the tree and the house decorations as well. People hang tinsel balls and other small star shaped figures from the branches of the tree. They put mistletoes in the most unexpected corners of the house. The outdoors of the house is also decorated and the lights are lit in the evening, as a sign of completion of the decorations.
What’s in it for the children?
Christmas Eve brings in a lot of excitement for the kids. They take great care in decorating the Christmas tree and makes list of all the things that they want from Santa Claus and puts it up and hangs his stockings near the fireplace or by their bed. They wait with excitement and turn in early so that when Santa sees everyone is sleeping he will enter the house and leave presents for them. The children too attend the midnight masses and sometimes the candle light service which is held in some churches.
Christmas Eve like Christmas day is also an occasion which is celebrated with great joy!