The evening or entire day before Christmas day, the festival commemorating the birth of Jesus. Christmas celebrations in the denominations of Western Christianity have long begun on Christmas Eve, due in part to the Christian liturgical day starting at sunset, a practice inherited from Jewish tradition and based on the story of Creation in the Book of Genesis: “And there was evening, and there was morning – the first day”. Many churches still ring their church bells and hold prayers in the evening. Since tradition holds that Jesus was born at night, Midnight Mass is celebrated on Christmas Eve, traditionally at midnight, in commemoration of his birth.
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