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Christmas Eve in Romania

Many Romanians spend Christmas Eve (Ajunul Crăciunului) celebrating a variety of festive activities that continue through to Christmas Day, a Christian holiday that marks Jesus’ birth. 

Is Christmas Eve a Public Holiday?

Christmas Eve is not a public holiday. Businesses have normal opening hours.

A Christmas market is all lit up in the old town square of Sibiu, Romania

©iStockphoto.com/boerescul

What Do People Do?

The Christmas season is a particularly cheerful time for many Romanians. Fun Christmas activities include:

  • Decorating Christmas trees and homes with Christmas decorations.
  • Watching or participating in drumming bands (dubasi).
  • Singing Christmas carols while walking from home to home.
  • Exchanging presents with friends and family.

Many people visit Christmas markets, including the Sibiu Christmas market and the Bucharest Christmas market. These markets are beautifully decorated with Christmas lights and are often held outdoors. They feature a variety of stalls selling candy, toys, crafts, and food.

Public Life

Christmas Eve is an observance and not a public holiday in Romania. It is a busy time of the year as many people go on vacation or travel home to visit family, so roads and airports may be busy. People intending to travel via public transport during public holidays must check with the public transit authorities on any changes to time schedules.

Background

Christmas Eve is the day before Christmas Day, which celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, who Christians believe is the son of God. His birth date is unknown because there is little information about his early life. Christmas Eve is celebrated in many other countries.

Symbols

Many shops and homes have visual displays of Santa Claus, known as Moş Crăciun (Old Man Christmas), Moş Nicolae (Old Man Nicholas) and Moş Gerilă (Old Man Frost).

About Christmas Eve in other countries

Read more about Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2015ThuDec 24Christmas EveObservance
2016SatDec 24Christmas EveNational holiday
2017SunDec 24Christmas EveObservance
2018MonDec 24Christmas EveObservance
2019TueDec 24Christmas EveObservance
2020ThuDec 24Christmas EveObservance
2021FriDec 24Christmas EveObservance
2022SatDec 24Christmas EveObservance
2023SunDec 24Christmas EveObservance
2024TueDec 24Christmas EveObservance
2025WedDec 24Christmas EveObservance

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