Lighting candles on Christmas Eve, also known as "Heilige Nacht," (Holy Night) is an ancient Christmas tradition. Typically, a big white candle is kept lit the entire night of Christmas Eve, signifying Christ, who is understood to be the "light of the world" (John 8:12, 9:5). In many churches throughout the world, people gather together on Christmas Eve in joyful anticipation of Christmas and participate in a special candlelight service with festive music, carols and scripture readings. Other popular traditions on Christmas Eve including gathering for Midnight Mass, nativity plays and Christmas vespers.
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