Everyone has their own Christmas Eve traditions, whether it's making cookies to leave out for Santa or having a feast that lasts until the early hours of Christmas Day.
Read on to see how much Christmas Eve traditions differ and take inspiration from countries across the globe.
1. The United States sets out cookies and milk for Santa.
In the US, families love to set out treats for Santa on Christmas Eve. Most churches also hold candlight services or midnight mass, which often include reenactments of the Nativity.
2. Many Canadians open their presents on Christmas Eve.
In Canada, families often open presents on Christmas Eve after mass. Others only open one and save the rest for Christmas Day. Many French Canadians have a huge feast after Christmas Eve mass, called a Réveillon, which lasts into the wee hours of Christmas morning.
3. Russians traditionally fast until evening on Christmas Eve.
The fast typically lasts until after evening service or when the stars come out. After the fast, some might eat a traditional Russian dish called kutya. Kutya consists of grains, honey, and poppy seeds, shared from the same bowl to symbolize unity. No meat is allowed. Oftentimes, a house blessing is also part of the Christmas Eve tradition — a priest will sprinkle holy water in each room and pray for everyone to have a safe and blessed year.
4. In England, Christmas Day and Boxing Day are more important than Christmas Eve.
In England, people often wait out Christmas Eve just to get to Christmas Day and Boxing Day. But as in many other countries, they'll also often attend a church service or midnight mass.
5. In Spain, families have a huge feast with their loved ones.
In Spain, Christmas Eve is called Nochebuena. As part of the celebration, many families have a huge meal together that typically centers around turkey, lamb, or seafood. Catholics in Spain then might attend midnight mass, or Misa del Gallo, to celebrate the birth of Jesus with music consisting of guitars, hand drums, and tambourines.
6. In France, many families have their Christmas meal, called le Réveillon de Noël, on Christmas Eve.
许多法国家庭会在平安夜吃圣诞大餐（le Réveillon de Noël）。
Similar to French Canadians, most families in France have a huge feast on Christmas Eve. The traditional dinner includes a meat such as duck or goose, as well as side dishes like foie gras and oysters. The meal ends with the Buche de Noël, a rolled sponge cake decorated to look like a Yule log.
7. Italy celebrates Christmas Eve with the Feast of the Seven Fishes.
A huge seafood and pasta dinner is tradition for Italians on Christmas Eve, and celebrates the vigil before the midnight birth of the baby Jesus. The tradition of serving seven different seafood dishes stems from the Roman Catholic practice of abstaining from meat on Christmas Eve.