Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Friday 25 June |
Saint of the Day: Bl. John the Spaniard
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

Happy Adam and Eve Day!


Public Domain

Philip Kosloski - published on 12/24/17

The Church used to celebrate a fascinating feast day on December 24.

During the Middle Ages, the Church in various parts of Europe celebrated what was been referred to as “Adam and Eve Day” on December 24. It was the final preparation before Christmas and is tied to the development of the Christmas tree.

Over the centuries theologians have come to label Jesus and Mary as the “New Adam” and the “New Eve.” This corresponds to their role in reversing the “no” of the first Adam and Eve in the garden by saying “yes” to God’s plan.

St. Irenaeus summarizes the logic of this profound truth.

The Lord, coming into his own creation in visible form, was sustained by his own creation which he himself sustains in being. His obedience on the tree of the cross reversed the disobedience at the tree in Eden; the good news of the truth announced by an angel to Mary, a virgin subject to a husband, undid the evil lie that seduced Eve, a virgin espoused to a husband.As Eve was seduced by the word of an angel and so fled from God after disobeying his word, Mary in her turn was given the good news by the word of an angel, and bore God in obedience to his word. As Eve was seduced into disobedience to God, so Mary was persuaded into obedience to God; thus the Virgin Mary became the advocate of the virgin Eve.

To highlight this reality the Church celebrated a feast in memory of Adam and Eve on the day before Christmas, the birth of the Savior. It brought the Advent season into full circle and reminded people of the primary reason behind the Incarnation.

To commemorate the unique feast, there also developed a “Paradise Play,” that recounted the story in Genesis. A central part of the play was a “Paradise Tree” that stood for the tree in the garden of Eden. On the tree the people hung fruit and some believe that this tree and its proximity to Christmas was an early form of a Christmas tree.

It is a fascinating historical feast, one that heightens the drama of Christmas Day and reminds us why Jesus’ birth was such good news.


Read more:
How to bless a Christmas tree

ChristmasDevotions and Feasts
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
Philip Kosloski
Prayers to be said at the elevation of the host at Mass
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
Theresa Civantos Barber
Celebrate “summer Christmas” with these 5 traditions ...
Cecilia Zinicola
The best method for transforming annoyance and frustration
John Burger
Parents of Amazon CEO donate $12 million to Catholic school
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.