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Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is the day before Christmas Day, and is treated to a greater or a lesser extent in most Christian societies as a public holiday.

It falls on December 24. Many Christians traditionally celebrate a Midnight mass at midnight on Christmas Eve, marking the beginning of Christmas Day. Other churches like the Anglican Church hold Candlelight service which is typically held earlier in the evening.

It is also seen as the night when Santa Claus or his international variants, make their rounds giving gifts to good children. In Italy presents are opened on the morning of Christmas Eve, while in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Poland, Christmas presents are opened on that evening. In North America, they are opened on Christmas Day morning.

"The Christmas Eve" (1904-05), watercolor painting by the Swedish painter Carl Larsson (1853-1919)