Christmas Eve is a time of many interpretations in the modern world. Many traditional Christians attend a church service such as Midnight Mass.
Other people spend the day and evening visiting friends and family especially those who are alone or ill in hospital. Often special little treats are taken along as a gesture of thoughtfulness.
Streets get dressed up at Christmas... even the famous laneways of Melbourne...
People get dressed up at Christmas....
Animals get dressed up at Christmas ... some are even pleased about it!!
And you might see a vehicle or two looking Christmassy...
Many people of all religious and non religious backgrounds attend a Carols by Candlelight event which certainly in my neighbourhood (which is very close to one of the largest parks in Melbourne at 127 hectares (310 acres) ) has become a great occasion for families and groups of friends to get together.
Carols by Candlelight, held in Melbourne, Victoria, was introduced in 1938 by radio announcer Norman Banks, of Melbourne radio station 3KZ. Whilst walking home from his night-time radio shift on Christmas Eve in 1937, he passed a window and saw an elderly woman sitting up in bed inside listening to Away in a Manger being played on the radio and singing along with her face being lit by candlelight. Wondering how many others spent Christmas alone, he had the idea to gather a large group of people to all sing Christmas carols together by candlelight. The first ever event was held in Alexandra Gardens the following Christmas in 1938, and was attended by around 10,000 people.1
Following World War II, the Carols became so well patronised that the decision was made to move it to the neighbouring park in Kings Domain. In 1959, the newly constructed Sidney Myer Music Bowl provided a permanent venue, where they are still held 60 years on as of 2019.1
Funds raised from donations, ticket, and candle sales are given to Vision Australia (formerly the Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind, (RVIB)). However, originally, all profits went to the Austin Hospital. During World War II the Red Cross and the Australian Comforts Fund joined the Austin Hospital as co-recipients, and in the immediate post-war era the RVIB received funds, as did the Austin Hospital.1
In recent years,the dress rehearsal on 23 December has become open to the public. Tickets to the event are cheaper than the main event, while funds raised still go towards Vision Australia. The event has become almost as popular as the main event in recent years.1
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there were no crowds for the 2020 event; it was the first time no crowds were allowed since its 1938 inception.Crowds were allowed in 2021, but all attendees (10,000 people) needed to have had the COVID vaccination. 1
By 2022 Australia was back in the swing and here for your entertainment is the full 2+ hour video of Vision Australia's Carols by candlelight for 2022. Vision Australia's event is the oldest in Australia 1
And what about artworks celebrating Christmas?
There is an excellent art blog written by LauraJaen from the Finger Lakes area of upstate New York. She has put together an excellent post on the top 15 Christmas Artworks From Throughout History for you to peruse and appreciate. Follow the bookmark link below to Laura's blog and website.