When is Christmas Eve in 2017? This question seems to be rather easy. In accordance with the popular definition, the day before the mysterious year night is called Christmas Eve. We would like to mention that it’s got a lot of interesting traditions, which can be different in various regions of the world.
For example, Catholic Christmas Eve in the USA as well as in Canada, is celebrated always 12/24, but in Orthodox Ukraine or Russia this holiday is appreciated on 01/06.
The holiday history
All in all Christmas Eve is considered to be the most austere day of Advent. When is Christmas Eve in 2017, calendar will tell you without any problems, but you should pay attention to some strict rules if you want to do everything properly. Traditionally, this’s a period when people have to choose only something plain for food as well as to drink a lot of water. During the whole day the representatives of both religions are waiting for 1st star appearance in the sky, which, as to the ancient legend, means Christ’s birth.
Historically the Orthodox Church previous established the Christmas Eve celebration in the beginning of IV century. We also can’t but mention that in V century some church leaders wrote the special Christ’s sacred chants. These songs are used even today for this holiday celebrations.
How to prepare for the holiday properly
The preparation for the perfect Christmas celebration is begun by Orthodox believers by help of 40-days fasting. Every Eve the churches have a solemn service, and those locals who haven’t gone to church, prepare for the star meeting at home.
By this time, all members of the family have dressed in festive clothes and gathered together. The table should be covered with a white cloth, and only the best dishes and tableware are used. As a rule, 13 delicious things are prepared and you should have an even number of people around the table. In the case when there is an odd amount of visitors, set a spare cover then. Under the cloth along the entire surface of the table some hay should be spread out. It symbolizes the plants, on which the newborn Jesus was laying.
The table is especially decorated with branches of spruce, candles and ribbons. In the very center it is possible to see the branches of spruce, candles and other this holiday attributes. In the room corner you should arrange a beautiful Christmas tree with a great amount of presents under its twigs.
As in the previous times the first star appearance is being looked forward by the local children. As a rule their joyful messages about its shining used to be the signal for the Christmas meal beginning. The ceremony begins with common prayer, and then the most honored female family member (usually a hostess) congratulates all on a holiday. Think about what day Christmas Eve in 2017 will be, you can reveal these traditions if you like. It seems to be rather interesting.
Catholics and Orthodox ceremonies
As soon as you find out the answer to the question “When is Christmas Eve 2017?” you should know that Catholics traditions usually begin with sharing wafers, which are considered to be a symbol of bread, wealth and well-being. First of all, the hostess shares the meal with her husband, then with the sons in order of seniority, then with the daughters, too, in order of seniority, with grandchildren and everyone else. This ceremony ends when all participants exchange the meals and wish each other a Merry Christmas, forgiving all offenses. It was a moment of general reconciliation.
The Orthodox feast begins with a so-called “kutia”, which is unnecessary at Catholics. This dish is cooked of wheat, peas, rice or peeled barley, flavored with honey, poppy, hemp, sunflower or other vegetable oil. The choice of the ingredients usually depends on the local features of the region. Corn is a typical symbol of reviving life, and honey or sweet flavor mean sweetness for future blessed life.
The dinner requires formal dress code. It is also believed that you can’t celebrate Christmas in black shades.
Some people also know this day like “carols”. Why? The matter is that according to the tradition, young boys and girls should roam from house to house, sing songs, begging the hosts to give them entertainment and money.
What is the date of Christmas Eve 2017 on the planet?
In European Spain this day is considered to be rather special. It’s called Nochebuena and is believed to be a family holiday. You also shouldn’t forget about small gifts. At night some contemporary families, following an ancient Catholic tradition, ask at their tables lonely old, ill or poor people.
In its turn, German life almost freezes beginning from the afternoon. At about ten o’clock at night the air everywhere is filled with bell ringing, informing about the starting of Christmas church services. The cathedrals are usually visited even by people who don’t think of God in ordinary everyday life. After the traditional church ceremony everybody has a family dinner.
In northern Norway local families come to the religious serves, which are traditionally begun at 15.00 p.m. Many people visit the cemeteries to clean graves of their deceased relatives and bring them bright and colorful flowers.
By the way, in Poland, Christmas Eve is not a real public holiday; it means that local people should work. But during the 2nd half of the day agencies, business offices and shops do not work. On Christmas Eve, just when the very first star appears, the whole family that is dressed in the elegant clothes gathers for the special dinner. All participants should share wafers, congratulating, kissing and wishing all the best. You can find only meatless dishes on the table: borshch c dryers, roasted and jellied carps, tasty dumplings with fresh or sour cabbage and forest mushrooms, stewed fruit and various sweet cakes. In eastern regions they eat cutie like in Ukraine or Russia.
In contemporary Canada this holiday begins in the evening of December 24. The adults, completing daily activities or having returned from church, start to set an occasional table.
In the distant provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador the locals has got a special custom to sell fish in the religious buildings just on Christmas Eve. Local men and women catch it on purpose during a whole week before. Received money is used entirely for the need of the parish. In Vancouver, a great amount of fires are broken out on Christmas Eve. You can see them everywhere at homes and on garden lawns, in town parks and at city squares. On the territory of Nova Scotia province that is inhabited by the Celtic Highlanders descendants the villages are sounded with old songs, which are changed by Christmas church hymns.