Christmas Eve in Finland in 2023

Christmas Eve in Finland in 2023
  How long until Christmas Eve?
Christmas Eve
  Dates of Christmas Eve in Finland
2024 Finland Tue, Dec 24 National Holiday
2023 Finland Sun, Dec 24 National Holiday
2022 Finland Sat, Dec 24 National Holiday
2021 Finland Fri, Dec 24 National Holiday
2020 Finland Thu, Dec 24 National Holiday

Celebrated with a holy supper of twelve dishes representing the twelve apostles.

  Local name
  Christmas Eve in other countries
Christmas Eve internationally
Related holidays

When is Christmas Eve?

Christmas Eve is celebrated on December 24th. If Christmas Day falls on a weekend, then this holiday may be observed on a different day.

Countries and regions which officially have Christmas Eve as a public holiday are shown on the right.

Even if it is not a public holiday, be aware that many businesses in Europe will give employees the afternoon or the whole day as a holiday. For instance in Portugal, while Christmas Eve is not a national holiday, most companies give their employees the day or afternoon off to prepare and to be with their families, and many businesses will close earlier than normal.

As Christmas is traditionally a time to spend with families, a lot of people may leave work early to travel home or visit relatives, so this is definitely not a good day to arrange business meetings.

History of Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve marks the culmination of the Advent period before Christmas that started on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Eve. Many churches will mark the end of Advent with midnight church services.

In Latin America, Christmas Eve marks the end of a nine-day period before Christmas, called 'Las Posandas' which represents the none months of labour for the Virgin Mary before she gave birth to Jesus.

Christmas Eve Traditions


On the night of Christmas Eve, children around the world will leave food and drink for whoever will come to their house and bring them presents. Who this is, depends on what part of the world you live. It might be Santa Claus or Father Christmas; but in Switzerland, it will be the Christchild who delivers the presents. In Denmark, it's the Christmas elf; in Sweden, it'll be a small man and in Finland, it'll be the Christmas goat!

In Latvia, the custom is that you can open the presents under the Christmas Tree after the Christmas Eve dinner, with a slight twist - before you take your gift, you'll have to recite a small poem.


A unique tradition of Christmas decoration in Ireland is a large white candle which is placed at the entrance of the house or in a window.  This candle is lit by the youngest child on Christmas Eve. This is a symbol to welcome the Holy Family and the candle can only be extinguished by a girl or a woman named Mary.

More Christmas Traditions

    Christmas Eve Customs in Finland

    Families in Finland remember the deceased on Christmas Eve. Many go to the local graveyard to light candles in the memory of ancestors and lost loved ones.

    Christmas peace in Finland

    Every year at noon on Christmas Eve in Finland‘s former capital, Turku, the “Declaration of Christmas Peace” is read out to mark the start of Christmas celebrations and peace lasting for 20 days. This tradition dates all the way back to the 13th century.

    Since 1886, the declaration has been made on the balcony of the Brinkkala Mansion, and nowadays, it’s broadcast over national TV and radio. The current script dates back to 1903 and wishes everyone a Merry Christmas, free of any noisy and rowdy behaviour.

    Did you know?

    Three facts about Christmas Eve

    The Christmas Eve meal is not served in Hungary until a twinkling star is seen in the sky.

    In Icelandic folklore, the Yule Cat (Jólakötturinn) will eat anyone who does not receive new clothes by Christmas Eve

    The holiday classic, "The Night Before Christmas," was first published as an 1822 poem entitled, "An Account Of a Visit From St. Nicholas."

    More facts about Christmas Eve

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