Talk:Christmas Eve

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Referring to Sinterklaas[edit]

In the Christmas Eve page, there is a referal to the "Sinterklaas" holiday under the "Gift giving" part. The mentioned date is wrong. Sinterklaas is on December 6, not December 5. This can be easily confirmed by looking on the page linked on "Sinterklaas".

KennethGeets (talk) 12:44, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

Unprotected protection expired. Anomie 15:06, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

Opening presents on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas Day[edit]

Underneath the "Gift Giving" part of this page, there is a list of countries where gifts are given on December 24th rather than December 25th. In Belgium, the presents are also opened on Christmas Eve. Maybe this country can be added to the list.

KennethGeets (talk) 12:46, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

Unprotected protection expired. Anomie 15:06, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

Why does Midnight mass redirect here?[edit]

--58.104.11.118 07:24, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

Well, looks like someone put a redirect on Midnight mass because someone else added the article and only put in (basically) "mass celebrated at midnight!". Are there any other occurrances of midnight mass in the Christian calendar other than on the Christmas Eve / Christmas day transition? I'm pagan so I don't really know personally. --Syrthiss 13:36, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
In Catholicism, at least, since we're speaking of a Midnight Mass...The Midnight Mass is immediately associated with Christmas Eve. I cannot recall any other time that phrase is used except for the Midnight Mass of Christmas Eve. --Penta 05:00, 25 December 2005 (UTC)
Excellent. Thanks! --Syrthiss 15:42, 25 December 2005 (UTC)

In Colombia we usually open the gifts at Midnight on Christmas Day, there we tend to celebrate more the 24 than the 25th since everyone has a hangover from all the parties. Also when I was a child, it wasn't Santa Claus that brougth the gifts to the children, it was Baby Jesus, if the kid had gone to sleep before midnight, the parents usually placed the gifts in their beds, so when one woke up, one dreamt that baby Jesus put the gifts himself in the bed, at midnight also, its when one put the Baby Jesus figurine in the Nativiy Set. (Raniya 23:40, 24 December 2005 (UTC))

I am changing the Midnight Mass pages to disambiguation pa<ges (there are movies and books with the same name), and changing all the ones that apply to this particular Christmas Eve Midnight Mass, to Christmas Eve instead. Antmusic 16:04, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Is Christmas Eve' the entire day before Christmas Day, or just the evening before?[edit]

Is Christmas Eve' the entire day before Christmas Day, or just the evening before?

Eve is short for evening, Christmas eve is NOT the day before Christmas, merely the evening before. The article needs to be revised. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.105.198.172 (talk) 02:19, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

An interpretation of "The day of christmas Eve'" could just mean the day in which Christmas Eve' (providing that Christamas Eve' is just the evening) falls on. As in one could say "the day of analogue switch-over", this doesn't mean that the enitre day is called 'analogue switch-over', it means that this is a day in which a channel three region's analogue transmitter closes consumer transmisions, so I'm thinking that "The day of Christmas Eve'" is just refering to the day in which Chrismtas Eve' falls upon.

Though I'm also thinking Christmas Eve' is the entire day.

Does anyone know? Which one is it? Rob Del Monte 02:36, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

I believe that Christmas Eve can refer to the day or evening of 24 December. However, if you take the etymology of the word 'eve', it comes from a 12th Century variant of the word 'even' which is archaic for evening. Chris Buttigieg 10:18, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

Given that 'eve' means evening, and that other articles on wikipedia reference Christmas Eve as the night before Christmas, I have changed the front page of this article to reflect this. Thanks. -Mark —Preceding unsigned comment added by 209.191.246.3 (talk) 19:18, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

The OED defines 'eve' as: The evening, and hence usually the day before a Saint's day or other church festival. Hence gen. the evening, or the day, before any date or event. There is clearly not a definite answer to the question. The article should reflect this. People should not assume that words have one meaning. 'Eve' does not just mean 'evening', as evidenced from the OED. --Tom dl (talk) 04:23, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
This is simple: Look to the left, to the other language Wikipedias. The holiday is there referred to as "Julafton/-aften" ("Christmas Evening"), "Nochebuena" (the "Good Night"), "Heiliger Abend" ("Holy Night") etc. Christmas is rung in by the church bells all over Europe at six o'clock on Christmas Eve, when Christmas begins. -62.63.246.247 (talk) 13:59, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
No. It's not that simple. Dictionary definitions of pieces of colloquial expressions do not give you the meaning of the full expression. Where I live (Australia) there is absolutely no question that Christmas Eve refers to the whole day before Christmas Day. I cannot speak for the rest of the English speaking world, but it's quite inappropriate of you to insist that you are right and make unilateral changes to the document. I will now revert those as well until further discussion has occurred. This discussion must cover the reality that at least in some place Christmas Eve refers to the whole day. HiLo48 (talk) 22:01, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
The entire day IS called Christmas Eve. There is no dispute on that. But the traditional celebration of Christmas starts in the evening (hence the name - eve is derived from evening). It is the current version which is based on dictionary definitions. My changes where properly sourced and accurate, and in no way contradicts the whole day bearing the name Christmas Eve. I am reverting back. -62.63.246.82 (talk) 13:07, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

I do not have access to the OED but the dictionaries that I have found usually list 'Christmas Eve' as having 'evening' as the first definition (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Christmas+Eve). It is clearly a topic which cannot be settled, but given that 'eve' logically follows a shortening of 'evening' , it doesn't seem logical to assume that 'Christmas Eve' is a whole day. Please revert back to evening only. Thanks. -Mark

The reality appears to simply be that one definition applies in some parts of the world and the other in the rest of the world. That's not a problem. Language is like that. What IS a problem is when someone insists that the way they do something is the way everyone else does it. Obviously the article simply has to mention that both usages exist. HiLo48 (talk) 12:20, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
Endorse HiLo48's suggestion. I am familiar with both uses, and use both senses myself - I don't perceive a conflict between the two, nor do I believe that it helps the encyclopedia to choose one over the other.
-- Joren (talk) 13:30, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
The article, as it stands now, clearly states that Christmas Eve is the day (it is a day in the calendar in all countries I know of) that contains the first evening of Christmas. This is sourced to both catholic and orthodox liturgy (protestant denominations often don't have formal liturgical definitions, but this is also the way it is in the Lutheran and Anglican traditions). This kind of covers the world.
I don't think that there is a contradiction here, really. Most people don't think to much about formal definitions. They just look at the calendar and see that it is Christmas Eve and have no idea that formally the celebration of Christmas begins in the evening. Nor do many people care about the religious meaning of the holiday much or about the church. That's the way it is in my country. People do not know when Christmas begins, even though church bells ring it in all over the country in the evening. Most people would probably say that Christmas begins at three o'clock, when Donald Duck goes on TV, sadly. -62.63.246.82 (talk) 14:24, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

In my country it's a whole day when the name is identical to English. The main part of the day is evening dinner so name is crated from evening event. It's like American Black Friday which sometimes starts at Thanksgiving day or lasts to the end of weekend. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 83.28.52.120 (talk) 17:54, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

Structure[edit]

This article needs some structure! I suggest headings: * Religious observence * Food * Gift giving * Other celebrations, although an alternative would be to structure it by country (as many of the paragraphs currently are). If nobody comments, I'll go ahead and make the changes. LachlanA 02:29, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Working day/holiday[edit]

It'd be interesting to include information on whether or not Christmas Eve is considered a (public) holiday or if people generally work on this day. That's what I came looking for. I know in Belgium it's a normal workday, in Sweden it is not. Kanaman 18:29, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

In Australia, it is a normal work day unless Christmas day and Boxing day holiday fall on a Friday/Saturday thus causing the public holiday for Friday to be moved to the Thursday. Only a very religious minority do anything on Christmas eve, and that would only be a midnight mass or a carols by candlelight event. The majority of the population of Australia are secular and only nominally put themselves down as being part of a church on census forms because that was the church their grandfather said they belong to, yet are most likely never to of been to a church nor their parents before them except in the Australia tradition of going to church for a wedding or a funeral. Baptisms or Christenings are rarely observed by most families in Australia.Petedavo talk contributions 23:06, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

The importance of Christmas Eve in different countries[edit]

I have been told (and as such cannot verify) that in some countries, Christmas Eve is the time in which people celebrate and Christmas Day itself is treated as a workday. The article itself talks about a Christmas Eve feast which does not occur where I live (Australia) and people can work on Christmas Eve. I have been told Americans make a greater deal out of Christmas Eve than Christmas Day. Are the differences that marked, and can they be encyclopedically catalogued? 220.101.56.250 (talk) 11:29, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

In Denmark we don't celebrate Christmas the 25th of December. Instead we celebrate Christmas in the evening of the 24th. Thus the 25th have no special meaning to us.
When saying "celebrate" I mean; we share presents, eat our Christmas dinner, dance around the Christmas tree etc. Additionally, there are only 24 fields in our Christmas calendars.
it is similar in Germany (and other countries as well)46.223.178.52 (talk) 09:38, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

Jul/Yule[edit]

The article gives off the impression that only Norway and Iceland have 'jul' or 'yule', with festivities of Christmas predominantly taking place on the 24th. As far as I know Denmark and Sweden have this arrangement too. --Joffeloff (talk) 00:09, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

Should we be adding when presents are opened in more countries? In Iceland there are also opened on Christmas Eve evening, but if we would begin adding this the list could go on forever. What do you think? --Martewa 12:27, 9 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I would like to point out that Christmas Eve is also referred to as the eve before Christmas. Some people think of it as the day before Christmas, but to many, it is the EVE, not day, before Christmas. It is celebrated in the afternoon by many. Yes, it is still the day before Christmas, but please add that it is the eve mostly.


Most people are weird and open their presents on Christmas Eve and not Christmas Day.

I live in america and i opern presents on christmas eve. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.252.208.25 (talk) 06:34, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

I live in Sweden. In 2001 I opened the Christmas presents on Christmas Day.

Maybe it shouldn`t tell about present opening, but when christmas are celebrated - i.e. I believe that most people in Latvia (I`m Latvian), except for traditionaly ortodoxal people, celebrates on Christmas eve and next two days are only to visit relatives and friends, presents are trivial - I usualy get them on christmas eve from my family and from relatives on first or/and second christmas, but sometimes I get them before christmas or even in next year and when I was very little I used to get presents bouth in christmas and new year -- Xil - talk 22:00, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

christmas eve triditions[edit]

people all around the wourld celebrate this tridition all differient ways how do u ?????????????????????? let all of us know for skewl booneville ms. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 207.68.230.187 (talk) 04:00, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

This section should include more referenced sources, given that evryone celebrates Christmas differently and that it is consequently difficult to make generalisations. --BigMac (talk) 23:54, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

meals[edit]

the section on meals is almost identical to a discussion on christmas eve meals at this website: http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Christmas_Eve i don't know which one did the plagarising, but certainly i think wikipedia should have an origianl discussion. hmmm, looking at absoluteastronomy.com again, it seems their whole article on christmas eve is taken from wikipedia... - i guess that's their problem... 79.72.46.159 (talk) 11:37, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

One sentence reads: In Poland, traditional Christmas Eve meals include one or more of the following foods: Golabki filled with Kasza, .... errr? I'm not a lot wiser. 212.140.128.142 (talk) 13:31, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Neutral POV[edit]

This article needs to be checked to ensure it maintains a neutral POV. It currently refers to Christianity as if it where fact. Added the template to the main page. --78.33.85.33 (talk) 18:40, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

January 6th?[edit]

Christians that use the Julian calendar don't celebrate Christmas eve? Kinkydarkbird (talk) 08:51, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Of course they do. VVVladimir (talk) 15:23, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Danes don't eat rice pudding with a cherry sauce. We eat Ris a la mande.[edit]

Danes do not eat rice pudding with a cherry sauce for Christmas Eve. We eat Ris a la mande/Risalamande/Riz à l'amande (can be spelled in several ways) which is a traditional Danish dessert, despite its French-sounding name. It is made out of rice pudding mixed with whipped cream, vanilla, and chopped almonds; and is usually served cold with a cherry sauce (kirsebærsauce). Thus, it is not just 'normal' rice pudding, but a special Danish dessert not to be mistaken with a normal, international rice pudding. In the Ris a la mande there is one non-chopped almond mixed in with all the other chopped almonds. The person who finds the only non-chopped almond wins a small present. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.238.22.68 (talk) 08:57, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

Nativity Icon.jpg[edit]

What makes you believe it is a Greek icon? The metadata for it is in Russian. My Russian isn't great but I don't think it mentions where the icon is located either way. Please cite a source to prove this icon is not Russian. Elizium23 (talk) 19:44, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Main image[edit]

This is a vote in the future. The main Carl Larsson image on this page is really nice and should anyone suggest a change, please count this as a vote to keep said image. History2007 (talk) 22:03, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

Table of Contents, 3.4 Europe[edit]

Will somebody please verify the location of Ireland? It's technically the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Ireland is currently listed in the Table of Contents 3.4.9, United Kingdom listed 3.4.15. Shouldn't they be listed in 3.4.15 as United Kingdom and Ireland, section 3.4.15.1 Ireland, section 3.4.15.2 United Kingdom? See Yahoo! UK & Ireland and Salvation Army: UK & Ireland for examples. Please understand, I'm highly educated about the Western Hemisphere and can hold my own in a discussion of England with anybody on Wikipedia, but not Ireland. This lousy t-shirt (talk) 21:07, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

To clarify... Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Ireland is a different country south of Northern Ireland. So, two countries sharing the one island. A bit like the way North and South Korea share the same peninsular, but not as nasty to one another. HiLo48 (talk) 23:04, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
Thank you!  :) This lousy t-shirt (talk) 23:43, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

Christmas Eve -> Christmas worldwide[edit]

Ok, so we did the B and the R, let's do the D :)

My reasons for wanting the content merged into Christmas worldwide is that right now content is duplicated. There are countries where coverage of Christmas Eve is nonexistant on this article, but great on Christmas worldwide, and other countries where it's reversed. It's bad enough that we have one article that is largely unsourced and needs major copyediting - Why should we duplicate that across articles? It's a mammoth list and impossible to keep them synchronized. If we're going to improve these articles, there needs to be a better process.

I thought about trying to separate it by moving all the Christmas Eve content here and taking it out of Christmas worldwide, but the problem with that is, you can't really talk about Christmas Eve without talking about Christmas, and you can't talk about Christmas without talking about Christmas Eve. They are inseparable. In many cultures, what with the midnight mass and the opening of presents before going to sleep, they kind of merge. So it would be better to have Christmas Eve and Christmas be in the same article.

-- Joren (talk) 15:25, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Further explanation - content was not removed, it was moved and merged. I kept a LOT of information from Christmas Eve and worked to integrate it into Christmas worldwide to provide a single narrative. The content is there, just look for the country. (this is the revision where content was merged. It is NOT the current revision) There were a few cases where content was duplicated OR said the same things, in which case I picked the sentences out of the two that seemed better and integrated the two.
-- Joren (talk) 15:50, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
It is so good to have a chance to discuss it!  :) Actually I love and agree with your idea. You can't describe Christmas Eve without Christmas or the other way around but you definitely CAN describe worldwide... well... worldwide. The information on Christmas Worldwide needs to be blended with the information about Christmas Eve which has been added, of course, for the sake of WP:MoS. There are certain things which had been in the Christmas Worldwide article which should be removed, such as the specific singling out of children in USA and Canada as "naughty" children who get lumps of coal in their Christmas stockings (and notice the "good" children don't get presents in their stockings but only under the tree)? But you are on to something as they say. And while we're at it, what do you think of the possibility of a merge concerning all the meals and the Christmas dinner article (except for the practices specifically associated with Christian traditions of fasting and such)? This lousy t-shirt (talk) 16:20, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
I think we can both agree there's a lot of content that needs to be pruned. I'm kind of disappointed that we have such a long article with so few sources, and I'm also concerned about how some traditions get singled out as being applicable to one country when it's really several (or a whole region). It would be good to centralize it a bit more (I tried to do a bit, e.g. put the Russian Ded Moroz tradition and the explanation of why Eastern Orthodox countries celebrate on January 7 under the "Eastern Europe" section instead of duplicating it over and over, but that's not always neat and pretty either (not all countries observing January 7 are in Eastern Europe).
So are we ok with the merger? Or are you proposing a fork? e.g. we could COPY instead of move - have the merged version of Christmas, but also keep the Christmas Eve info here. Trouble is, it creates more work to maintain both :/ What do you think?
-- Joren (talk) 16:38, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes. Let's merge the regional section for this article with Christmas Worldwide for the first step. Then decide what we want to do with the rest once we tidy it up a bit! This lousy t-shirt (talk) 17:33, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Green tickY. Ok! Now that we have it all in one place, another possibility is we can work on Christmas worldwide for a bit, then once it's tidied, copy some of it back over here if it seems helpful.
By all means, if you've got the energy to tackle some of the issues we've talked about, have at it! I'll see what I can do as far as finding sources...
-- Joren (talk) 17:53, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
On my way to working on it right now as a matter of fact. (While still keeping an eye on Recent Changes of course! Don't want the troublemakers to think they won't be noticed in spite of the fact the article will be the focus of attention, LOL) I own a book of different traditions from all around the world, given to me in childhood. Will try to find that one since it is both a published and authentic source. It along with Montessori schooling provided appreciation for the different ways we all celebrate the same day(s). This lousy t-shirt (talk) 19:08, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes, please! That would be great... I was trying to find stuff online and not getting too far. But I managed to source Nigeria :D
-- Joren (talk) 19:29, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
P.S. As for Christmas dinner and List of Christmas dishes... hmm. I see a few possibilities... My first instinct is to merge the country-level information in Christmas dinner to Christmas worldwide, and to keep List of Christmas dishes. It's a nice concise list that focuses only on the food aspect.
Another possibility is to move specific food information from Christmas worldwide to Christmas Dinner, and keep a summary in Christmas worldwide. This could be unwieldy though (how do you give a good picture of a Christmas meal without saying what's in it? :) )
Or, we can turn Christmas Dinner into a summary of regional food trends, and move country-specific info to Christmas worldwide. But we can cross that bridge when we come to it.
-- Joren (talk) 17:53, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Changes to lede[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
Per request on my talkpage, this discussion hath been closed and "festival commemorating the birth of Jesus of Nazareth that takes place on December 25" will be restored. Anyone who disagrees, please go get your vision checked. :P -- DQ (ʞlɐʇ) 01:02, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

The lede of the article has recently become the object of a mini-edit war. The disputed text has now been sourced. This disputed content should be not removed unless there is consensus to do so on the talk page.– Lionel (talk) 09:52, 27 November 2011 (UTC)

I'm not going to comment on the content. My knowledge of the area is inadequate. But I will contribute the view that simply being sourced does not necessarily justify inclusion of content. HiLo48 (talk) 10:15, 27 November 2011 (UTC)
Indeed WP:UNDUE applies to sources. Since the lede is meant to be relevant for most people then including a minority religious point of view, even if it is sourced, is not according to policy. Unless Lionel wants links to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, as an example of a competing belief, appearing on all pages related to Christian topics? Actually there is a source for Pastafarians having a Holiday around the same time as Christmas [1] so would Lionel object to including that in the lede as well? Glider87 (talk) 10:50, 27 November 2011 (UTC)

A textbook titled Religions of the World states:

Christmas, which marks the birth of Jesus, is celebrated in Western Christianity on December 25 and in January by Eastern Orthodox Christians.

Similarly, Encyclopædia Britannica's opening sentence states:

Christmas, Christian festival celebrating the birth of Jesus.

The current sentence reflects what is given in other reliable sources on the topic. As such, the clause must remain in the article, rather than excising it in favour of User:Glider87's interpretation of the holiday. Thanks, AnupamTalk 00:46, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

"simply being sourced does not necessarily justify inclusion of content". If you think finding a "reliable source" is enough for inclusion in the lede then I found a source to the Flying Spaghetti Monster Holiday for the same date. Do you object to that being in the lede? Glider87 (talk) 13:10, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
No, the threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability: "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth—whether readers can check that material in Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, not whether editors think it is true." If you show me a single encyclopedia or other reliable source that discusses FSM in its article for Christmas Eve, we can consider including it. Thanks, AnupamTalk 14:32, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
An encyclopedia entry like this one Flying Spaghetti Monster, looks for the section called Holidays. Since according to the rules on verifiability the FSM Holiday already an entries on another page then according to your narrow incorrect interpretation of WP:RS and WP:V you cannot object to it being included in the lede on this page as well. The point being that you also need to consider WP:UNDUE and WP:NPOV with WP:V and WP:RS when making changes, especially in the lede. To want to include too much God stuff in the lede is not neutral, especially since Christmas is actually not originally a Christian holiday but is actually pagan in origin. Glider87 (talk) 14:43, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

RfC[edit]

A new editor, Glider87 (talk · contribs), removed the statement that Christmas is a "festival commemorating the birth of Jesus of Nazareth that takes place on December 25" and asserted that if Jesus be mentioned in this article, then the Flying Spaghetti Monster must also be included in the lede. Should this article on Christmas Eve continue to retain mention of Jesus Christ in the lede? Thanks, AnupamTalk 20:08, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

Comments[edit]

  • Strong Support Yes, this article should continue to mention that Christmas Day is a "festival commemorating the birth of Jesus of Nazareth that takes place on December 25" as reliable sources indicate that this is the primary purpose of the holiday:
A textbook titled Religions of the World states:

Christmas, which marks the birth of Jesus, is celebrated in Western Christianity on December 25 and in January by Eastern Orthodox Christians.

Similarly, Encyclopædia Britannica's opening sentence states:

Christmas, Christian festival celebrating the birth of Jesus.

The current sentence reflects what is given in other reliable sources on the topic. As such, the clause must remain in the article, rather than excising it in favour of User:Glider87's personal interpretation of the holiday. Thanks, AnupamTalk 20:07, 25 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Support Christmas is a Christian holiday in origin, in addition to co-opting the day and certain aspects of a previous pagan holiday, and certainly this should be mentioned in the article (though not necessarily the lead). Christmas certainly has nothing to do with the FSM, and I'm hard-pressed to see how inclusion of the FSM in the lead would be an improvement to the article. What's the point?siafu (talk) 20:47, 25 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Strong Support. The mention needs to remain in the article. The importance of Jesus Christ for this celebration, is obvious enough from its name. (But, I'll also mention the following book about holidays, which states that "the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, really begins with Christmas Eve on December 24th.".) Cody7777777 (talk) 21:04, 25 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Strong Suppert because the eve of a feast, such as that of Christmas, has historical origins in at least as far back as AD 412, when "a fast on Christmas Eve is mentioned by Theophilus of Alexandria" (source). The largest English dictionary, Oxford English Dictionary, defines "Christmas" as (my emphasis)

    The festival of the nativity of Christ, kept on the 25th of December. Usually extended more or less vaguely to the season immediately preceding and following this day, commonly observed as a time of festivity and rejoicing.

and "Christmas eve" as

the evening before Christmas-day

.
  • RfC Comment from a previously uninvolved editor. This isn't even a close call. Yes, of course it should continue to mention this. The article about FSM, by the way, is a frequent target of trolling by persons who want to claim that it isn't a parody religion, but a real one. Ignore the troll and move on. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:33, 25 December 2011 (UTC)
  • You needed an RfC for this? Seriously? 'Tis the season of good will, so I shall presume the regulars were zealously assuming good faith. —Tom Morris (talk) 22:19, 25 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Strong Support I agree with Tom Morris that this is a probably-overzealous assumption of good faith. Miniapolis (talk) 00:23, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Support, but... Some of those Supports above are really poor. Of course Christmas began as a "festival commemorating the birth of Jesus of Nazareth..." But what is it now? In my country it's a time of goodwill, a time when families get together, but in only a small minority of those gatherings would Jesus crack a mention. I believe it's also a big celebration in Japan, a non-Christian country. Not enough of those reactionary Supports above even contemplate that today Christmas is anything different from what it started out as. If this article is to stay relevant, it needs become even more reflective of current practices. Leave the original reason for its existence there, sure, but widen the view as well. HiLo48 (talk) 01:46, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
It's not contemplated because it's not the question being posed by the RfC, not just because the other commentators are negligent. Let's not overbroaden this RfC, lest we muddy the waters instead of at least answering the rather simple question posed. siafu (talk) 16:46, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
For as long as we're arguing about what Christmas IS, rather than what Christmas WAS, it IS the question being posed by the RfC. Christmas around the world today is obviously not the same as the first Christmases that were celebrated. It is largely NOT about Jesus in my part of the world. The tense is critical. HiLo48 (talk) 22:33, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
No, the RfC question is a specific one about the framing of the lead paragraph. That's all. The question of what "Christmas IS" is quite irrelevant, and bringing it up repeatedly when it's not germaine looks a lot like rhetorical grandstanding, and not very much like article improvement. siafu (talk) 01:37, 27 December 2011 (UTC)
Can you bloody well read? The RfC contains the word IS. It does not contain the word WAS. Theological and philosophical arguments are irrelevant beyond that. Maybe the RfC is incorrectly worded, but in its current form (which you either won't or cannot read, or acknowledge) YOU ARE JUST PLAIN WRONG!!!!!! (Would you argue that black was white if your religion would otherwise be offended?) HiLo48 (talk) 07:33, 27 December 2011 (UTC)
The question being posed in the RfC is this:

Should this article on Christmas Eve continue to retain mention of Jesus Christ in the lede?

That is the question being answered by myself and your fellow editors, and the question that we all managed to "bloody well read" just fine. Furthermore, it would do you well to assume good faith here, since you know absolutely nothing about the religions of your interlocutors. Assuming that you do is revealing a certain battleground mentality here, as you are projecting some sort of atheist vs. Christian aspect to a discussion that is really just about what is the best, most accurate, and most informative way to write an encyclopedia article. I am very loathe to mention or explain my own personal positions as doing such tends to bring out the prejudices of others, but suffice to say I am not a Christian, and I do not believe that the manner in which Christmas is celebrated in "my country" (the United States) is particularly religious. It does not change the fact that the holiday called Christmas is indeed a Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ; acknowledging that simple fact is hardly a philosophical position, and should not be assaulted or defended as one. siafu (talk) 16:12, 27 December 2011 (UTC)
This is one of the sloppiest RfCs I've seen for a while. If that IS the wording under discussion, why are so many editors telling us how it all started, rather than attending to what it is NOW? And I don't care what religions people follow. I care about logic and quality discussion, not just nice discussion. HiLo48 (talk) 21:52, 27 December 2011 (UTC)
I agree with User:Siafu. At any rate, as of now consensus seems to support retaining the information. However, I'll wait a few days longer before I request an administrator to close the RfC. The existing reliable sources also support retaining the phrase. Moreover, in most other parts of the world in which the majority in those countries is non-Christian, such as India or Pakistan, Christmas is strongly associated with Christianity there and the individuals in those countries who choose to celebrate it are mostly Christians. I hope this helps. Thanks, AnupamTalk 01:46, 27 December 2011 (UTC)
Comment: I would think that the material regarding the commemoration of the birth of Jesus should be included in the lead, in some form, because it would save for some editors the need to hit the link for Christmas, which could be valuable, and it is worth saying up front I think what the significance of Christmas is. My one reservation is regarding the dating of Christmas Eve to December 24. As the Christmas article points out, there are other dates observed as Christmas, particularly in the Eastern churches, and, at least so far as I know, they count Christmas Eve as being the day before their own Christmas as well. Maybe changing the phrasing to something like "the day before Christmas, which is variously observed on (dates)" might be preferable. John Carter (talk) 00:22, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Support -- The statement is correct. The date has been 24 December for many centuries. The differnece over the date of the celebration according to the modern Gregorian calendar arises from certain Orthodox churches having stuck with the Julian calendar, with the result that they celebrate Christmas on 25 December [[Old style]/5 January New style. It might be appropriate in the Lead to split the sentence so that it is clear that it is the celebration that is on 24 December, not the birth whose date we do not know. Since the vast majority of Christians celebrate it accoring to the Gregorian calendar, perhaps the addition of the word "usually" might be appropriate. The detailed explanation of the varying dates should appear later. Peterkingiron (talk) 17:53, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Support: readers need to know that "Christ"mas is about Christ. The FSM reference is trivial to the point of exclusion. – Lionel (talk) 20:50, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
And that's exactly the kind of comment that creates problems here. It ignores many things that others have said here. I have no problem with that being YOUR definition, but there are many people who have happy, joyful family gatherings at Christmas where Christ would never be mentioned. Christmas is a big festival in Japan. Not many Christians there. And it's bloody obvious that the retailers have a different perspective. Christmas WAS about Christ when the name was invented (although the date came from the northern winter solstice), but it's certainly not all about Christ today. Why can't people keep their personal beliefs out of this and just look at facts? HiLo48 (talk) 22:44, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
  • RFC Comment: Support, this is a question which turns on what the sources say and e.g. the sources mentioned above clearly support the notion that Christmas is a celebration of Jesus' birth. It's beside the point if most people now consider Christmas a time to give presents and get tipsy on sherry. That the context of Christmas has evolved over the years is significant and noteworthy in its own right. FSM is irrelevant. --Dailycare (talk) 20:08, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Obviously Darkness Shines (talk) 03:38, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong support. Christmas is a primarily Christian holiday by definition, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster, while somewhat amusing, is completely irrelevant. Chris the Paleontologist (talk | contribs) 23:57, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
I wish we could actually have Discussion here. While I agree that the Flying Spaghetti Monster is somewhat irrelevant, there are millions (possibly billions) of non-Christians, or at least non-practising Christians who celebrate Christmas. That has already been said several time above, but you have posted as if it hasn't. To you Christmas may be primarily Christian. How can you ignore those for whom it's not? HiLo48 (talk) 02:15, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
The reliable sources that have already been listed above do seem to indicate that Christmas is a Christian holiday. For another example, here's a quote from Gale's Encyclopedia of Religion:
I apologize for any miscommunication, but please do not get the impression that I am trying to exclude anyone's viewpoints here. The point I am trying to make is that the consensus among reliable sources appears to be that Christmas is indeed a Christian holiday, and I therefore think it would be appropriate to present that as the primary view of the holiday, per WP:NPOV. Other views should definitely be given mention if they have been published in reliable sources. Chris the Paleontologist (talkcontribs) 20:09, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Please cut the crap. I have made some comments. Respond to them ALL. My points reflects common knowledge and common sense. I don't have the time right now to hunt down sources, which would obviously be less simple to find than those from the Christian front. But rather than retreating to the "reliable sources" defence and creating an inaccurate article, how about showing some sense here? Respond to my observations, not just my suggestion. Do you want an accurate article, or just one that pleases Christians? HiLo48 (talk) 23:14, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Really?! From the RFC. Surely the festival of Christmas Eve (and Christmas as a whole) is a commemoration of the birth of Jesus as per the article. The lede should surely reflect the article that follows it. No FSM there. There may be an argument for expanding the article to include the celebration of sherry drinking (as per Dailycare) and other non-religious aspects, but I'd imagine that would be fairly out of place in an article on a religious festival. The non-religious aspects of the festival can be found on the page Christmas, which seems more appropriate. Ben (Major Bloodnok) (talk) 22:27, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Qualified support: The lead of course has to mention Christ, but it has to be done in a neutral manner. There is not a single party to this debate who does not know full well and completely understand that what was once just a Roman Catholic mass day has both become a broader Christian holiday/day of worship and much more markedly a secular and highly commercialized holiday focusing on gift-giving, home decoration, popular songs and euhemerization of a secular folklore character originating as a Christian saint, and still incorporating many pagan aspects (feasting, the Yule log and other Yule customs, tree decoration white goes back to votive offerings placed on trees at sacred goves, etc., etc.) of festivals pre-dating Christian imposition of Christ's Mass on their winter festival period. The Christian, pagan and secular topics are all crucially relevant. There's a similar dynamic that has to be properly addressed with Halloween (secular) / All Hallows Eve (Christian) / Samhain (pagan), and the same goes for Easter (the secular bunnies-and-eggs holiday / Christian Easter Sunday / pagan vernal equinox festivals), and possibly others. All that said, it is actually completely unacceptable to say anything like "Christmas is a festival commemorating..." and only secondarily note the secular nature of the holiday. Christmas is only a commemorative religious festival for a subset of Christians, and by no means all observers of the holiday, even under that name. Christmas didn't even originate as a Christian thing, but in antiquity. The Christian usurpation, renaming and amalgamation was used in the process of religious conversion by early missionaries in pagan Graeco-Latinate, Celtic and Germanic Europe, though the detail on the pagan side can probably be covered at Yule. The Flying Spaghetti Monster has no relevance except as an extremely tertiary subtopic and should not be in the lead section, however much I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment behind the FSM religion-parody movement. SFM isn't mentioned in the lead of Pirate either. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 23:43, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
It doesn't seem to me that including the sentence in the RfC, even phrased as it is as the opening sentence, is really in conflict with your complaints. "Christmas", however, does originate in Christianity, the same way that Saturnalia originates with the Romans. The sense in which you are using originate would exclude any known historical groups of people since really, all of these customes "originate" in prehistory. True, the Christmas holiday is different things to different people, especially in the modern day with its widespread recognition, but it originated in Christianity, albeit as a co-optive replacement for existing holidays-- which had likely appeared in the same way themselves. The other natures of Christmas belong in the lead paragraph, I agree, and I encourage you to include them, though perhaps after the RfC. siafu (talk) 00:13, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Shame we even have to deal with this troll's suggestion. NYyankees51 (talk) 06:02, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support to keep phrase about Jesus. Omitting Jesus would be like changing article "Easter" to mention only Easter eggs and the Easter Bunny. Instead a notable portion of Christmas Eve is the "midnight mass" about Jesus, which has been observed even for all the past 50 years. -Wikid77 (talk) 08:51, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. To answer the specific question of the RfC: Yes, the lead section should mention and wikilink Jesus. As for other issues that have come up in the discussion: (1) Date. The lead section should not state unequivocally that Christmas Eve is December 24 if a significant number of people observe it on a different date. I agree with John Carter's suggestion that the mention of the date acknowledge the differences in observance. (2) Secular aspects. The lead section should note that Christmas originated as the commemoration of the birth of Jesus but should not give the false impression that that's its only significance today. We can't pack all the information about the subject into the first paragraph, though. For the lead section it would be enough to say something like:

Christmas Eve refers to the evening or entire day preceding Christmas Day, a widely celebrated festival (usually on December 25 but on January 6 in some cultures) that originated as the commemoration of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.[1] Christmas Eve is a culturally significant celebration for most of the Western world and is widely observed as a full or partial holiday in anticipation of Christmas Day.

The second sentence should begin with "Christmas Eve" rather than "It", because the antecedent of "It" might seem to be Christmas, the most recently mentioned holiday. JamesMLane t c 15:00, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.
References
  1. ^ Mary Pat Fisher (1997). Living Religions: an encyclopedia of the world's faiths. I.B.Tauris. Retrieved 2010-12-29. Christmas is the celebration of Jesus' birth on earth. 

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This page has been fully protected for one month. A fully protected page can be edited only by administrators. Modifications to this fully protected page can be proposed here, or in another appropriate forum for discussion. Please do note, despite full protection, administrators shall be allowed to make changes to the protected article reflecting consensus. Placing the {{editprotected}} template on the talk page will draw the attention of administrators for implementing uncontroversial changes. In case there is any administrative assistance required, kindly leave a note on my talk page. Thanks. Wifione Message 10:12, 27 November 2011 (UTC)

When did the practice of candle light services in Protestant Churches become common?[edit]

Looking back at newspapers on the web, in the 19th and early 20th century many churches had weekly Sunday evening vesper services. However, they only held evening worship on Christmas eve in years that December 24 fell on a Sunday. The old newspapers do not describe members of the congregation holding lighted candles.

In a search of The Washington Post for “Christmas Candlelight Service” the first reference is December 22, 1929, 4 pm at the YWCA. A 1931 WP newspaper article includes this description of a church service: “From the rear of the church the vested choir approaches, each bearing a tall candle. The whole church is then lighted only by the rays of the candles in the candelabra on the alter, those in each window and the ones carried by the choir.”

Sometime after 1931 American churches started to hold Christmas Eve services where everyone in the congregation got to hold and light a candle.

Terminally cloying[edit]

Photo caption: The Magi who followed the Star of Bethlehem wisely brought presents, knowing children appreciate them. Wise indeed: children especially appreciate myrrh.--Wetman (talk) 20:04, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I like "Terminally cloying" as a descriptor for that caption. How long has that rubbish been there/ How about a simple "Presents under a Christmas tree"? If no Admin beats me to it, I'll fix it when the editing lock expires tomorrow. HiLo48 (talk) 02:03, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
It's OK. Someone else has fixed it. Not as simple as my proposed wording (too many occurrences of "Christmas") but definitely less cloying. HiLo48 (talk) 21:32, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

Argentina and Uruguay[edit]

In Argentina and Uruguay (I'm Uruguayan) people stay awake till midnight, when fireworks are on the sky and people give gifts. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 190.133.111.244 (talk) 01:33, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

tracking santa on map[edit]

w — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:D:1100:19D:D0BE:D439:6E39:3A33 (talk) 01:02, 14 December 2014 (UTC)

This has already gained consensus[edit]

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Christmas_Eve&oldid=639540774&diff=prev Bold shows material removed.

Christmas Eve is the evening or day before Christmas Day, the widely celebrated annual holiday.

I didn't add it, but it is correct and it offers the first link to the Christmas worldwide article. An anon edit warred to have it removed. Walter Görlitz (talk) 03:13, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

The IP editor removed this on grounds that it is elegant variation; the edit war started when Walter erroneously referred to this as an unexplained removal. My take on it is that it isn't elegant variation - i.e., useless repetition - but an Easter egg. I agree, it is desirable to note in the lede that Christmas is celebrated all over the world, linking to that article. But there is probably a better way to do that. Can someone point to the earlier discussion on this point? Or come up with a better place to place that point and link? Yngvadottir (talk) 03:25, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict)That's not what was determined at AN3, Walter. (see here for how it really went down: [2]) The closing admin stated (and I quote), "I'm going to close this since nobody wants this shit on Christmas eve. Walter, you were wrong, and I will revert, since the IP gave a perfectly valid explanation and your edit summary, "revert unexplained removal of content", was thus completely incorrect. So, on the one hand, I will revert you, and on the other I will not block you so you can take the matter up on the talk page, if you feel thusly inclined...".
Best to have the truth represented rather than false accusations. -- WV 03:37, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

Whatever, please focus on the issue. Should the material be in the lede or not? The revert was actually to other material as well. Walter Görlitz (talk) 04:21, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

No, not "whatever". You totally misrepresented how things went down (if it wasn't Christmas Eve, I would unabashedly say, "you lied"). Good that you struck out the misrepresentation. It was the right thing to do. Have a good Christmas. -- WV 04:28, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes, whatever. I didn't misrepresent anything. If you want to discuss how I did misrepresent anything, do so on my talk page. However, please focus on the actual question here instead. Walter Görlitz (talk) 14:39, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
I haven't seen anything about where consensus was reached to have that link in that way - and I haven't found anything else the IP editor changed. So I've gone ahead and made an edit to that first paragraph of the lede, reintroducing the link with more obvious piping. How does that work for you folks? Yngvadottir (talk) 17:20, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
I looked to see if I could find consensus for this as well and also came up empty. Another "misrepresentation"? At this point, it appears so (until Walter Görlitz can provide a diff showing otherwise). The new edit looks good to me, Yngvadottir. -- WV 17:53, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
How could I misrepresent that it had consensus when I never stated it had it? Feel free to link the place where I sated that there was consensus or time to strike the previous statement. Walter Görlitz (talk) 18:23, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
It was you who started this section with the header, "This has already gained consensus", correct? [3]. -- WV 19:02, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
I just changed it to reflect the nature of the discussion. Walter Görlitz (talk) 19:08, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I have changed it back as refactoring at this point is inappropriate. -- WV 19:12, 25 December 2014 (UTC) Also, asking again: where is the consensus? A diff would be nice. -- WV 19:17, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

It obviously hasn't. I erred. I should have phrased it as a question. Why are you focusing on the editor rather the content? Walter Görlitz (talk) 19:21, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
I guess I will never understand editors who blatantly lie and make things about themselves (as you did here with this: [4]), declaring themselves a victim ("Personal attacks on Walter Görlitz") when it was that very editor who started the problem to begin with. Like Drmies stated last night, "nobody wants this shit on Christmas eve. Walter". Nobody wants this shit on Christmas, either, Walter. And yet, you keep stirring the shit pot. -- WV 19:30, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
Me too. You insist on extending the personal attacks and piling-on the unpleasant behaviour. I guess it takes all kinds. Walter Görlitz (talk) 20:10, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

Worldwide in the lede or not?[edit]

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Christmas_Eve&oldid=639540774&diff=prev Bold shows material removed.

Christmas Eve is the evening or day before Christmas Day, the widely celebrated annual holiday.

I didn't add it, but it is correct and it offers the first link to the Christmas worldwide article. Walter Görlitz (talk) 03:13, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

It's already been fixed quite nicely by Yngvadottir here: [5]. In my opinion, that's how it should stay. -- WV 19:35, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
The term worldwide was not mentioned in the lede. Are you saying it doesn't belong? Walter Görlitz (talk) 20:11, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
@Walter Görlitz: at this point I don't understand. You started the prior section with a header referring to consensus; I asked you where that consensus was and you never responded. Now I have reinserted the link, using the wording "around the world" (my reasoning for not using "worldwide" is that that might be misinterpreted as a claim that Christmas is universally observed - which it is not, but I saw the point about its being desirable to link early in the lede to the article about how Christmas is observed in different countries, since this article is the pendant to it) - yet here you have started a new section on whether that should be included, and you say it "was not mentioned in the lede". Huh? Is my change acceptable to you or not? I asked up above. If it is, then what's the current problem? If not, then please explain so we can fix it. Yngvadottir (talk) 20:32, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
Sorry. I assumed it had consensus. It wasn't.
I got caught-up in the references. Thanks. Your edit is quite good. Another error on my part, which is apparently typical on my part these past few hours. Thanks. Walter Görlitz (talk)
And to be fair, it would be good to see what the anon thinks of the current wording. Walter Görlitz (talk) 20:49, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
The lead no longer says "Christmas, the widely observed holiday", which was akin to saying "carrot, the popular orange vegetable". That is a good thing. Walter Görlitz, though, has not apologised for breaking the 3RR, nor for falsely claiming that I did not explain my edit, nor for falsely claiming that a consensus existed, nor for falsely and outrageously claiming that I was a blocked vandal. He's behaved disgracefully and faced no sanction for being so disruptive. Shame on the system that encourages such behaviour. 200.83.101.225 (talk) 15:48, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
But the carrot is a popular orange vegetable. There's northing to apologize for. Have a great rest of Christmas and let your grudges go. Walter Görlitz (talk) 15:59, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
Lying repeatedly is something to apologise for. If you don't think so, your behaviour is even more problematic than it appeared. 200.83.101.225 (talk) 16:14, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
It wasn't intentional and so it wasn't lying. As for problematic behaviour: I'm sure that there's a mirror nearby and you should consider looking at it for your own behaviour issues. Walter Görlitz (talk) 16:32, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
If you made all of your false claims and accusations by accident, you should still apologise for them. 200.83.101.225 (talk) 21:49, 29 December 2014 (UTC)