Christmas Eve in Sweden in 2020

Christmas Eve in Sweden in 2020

  Dates of Christmas Eve in Sweden
2022 Sweden Sat, Dec 24 National Holiday
2021 Sweden Fri, Dec 24 National Holiday
2020 Sweden Thu, Dec 24 National Holiday
2019 Sweden Tue, Dec 24 National Holiday
2018 Sweden Mon, Dec 24 National Holiday
  Summary
Christmas Eve marks the culmination of the Advent period before Christmas that started on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Eve.
  Local name
Julafton
  Christmas Eve in other countries
Christmas Eve internationally
Related holidays

Christmas Eve in Sweden

Christmas Eve is a de facto holiday. These are almost always treated as official holidays by employers, so most employees working regular office hours do not work these days.

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

Gifts

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.

Candles

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

    Swedish Christmas Eve Customs

    At 3pm on Christmas Eve around 40% of Swedes will be at home watching 'Donald Duck and His Friends Wish You a Merry Christmas'. The show is actually a 1958 Disney Christmas special called "From All of Us to All of You".

    Did you know?

    Three facts about Christmas Eve

    Streets are closed on Christmas Eve in Caracas, Venezuela so people can roller skate to church.

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

    Legend has it, if you sit under a pine tree on Christmas Eve, you can hear angels singing.

    More facts about Christmas Eve

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