did not think of christmas eve, i love the night of christmas is what it says literally!
Christmas Eve is incorrect, I have reported the error...
Noite de Natal = Christmas Night
Véspera de Natal = Christmas Eve
I believe Christmas Night is the night of Christmas Day, Christmas Eve is the day before Christmas (24th of December). =)
There are some differences between places and families.
In the end, I think @vinidcali's answer is the most accurate after all:
- "Noite de natal" is an expression often used meaning the meeting and dinner, more than the date.
Some may do it on the night from 24th to 25th, and others may do it on the 25th at night.
I've been talking to Luis (native Portuguese) and we found an interesting difference:
To him, "noite de natal" is "Christmas Night" (25th), and they've got a special name for 24th, which is "consoada". (We don't use this word in Brazil)
While my families have always ate Christmas dinner on 24th and always called it "noite de natal". It's also the night when everyone exchanges gifts. So, for those who celebrate Christmas this way, this is definitely "the" night.
"Véspera" is a word that means "the day before".
It's used regularly for any date, regardless of being a holiday or not.
Then, one thing is clearly sure:
- "Véspera de natal" refers to the entire 24th. (The day before Christmas)
- Ele sempre estuda na véspera (das provas) = He always studies one day before (the exams) = He always studies the day before (the exams)
- Os jogadores ficam nervosos na véspera dos jogos = (The) players get nervous the day before the games.
So, possible translations of Christmas Eve are:
- Véspera de natal (if the entire day)
- Consoada (EP)
- Noite de natal (in case you mean the dinner night on 24th)
Exactly. Christmas Eve is the night before Christmas. 12/24
Christmas is commemorated in a poem that most American children know, at least the opening lines: "Twas the night before Christmas When all thro' the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse...."
In the US, Christmas eve has traditionally been a quiet time (as the poem describes) with festivities, opening of gifts, and the big meal on Christmas day.
From the NY Times: "On Christmas day, Americans wake up around 7:35 am on average...They might be envious of Brazilians who have a languid Christmas morning and whose average wake up time is 9:09 am."
As for the literal translation, you're so damn right.
In cultural terms, we celebrate Christmas in December 24th during the night time until midnight to morning of December 25th. The midnight passing from a day to another works the same way for New Year's Eve (celebrated on December 31th until the morning of January 1st).
Though I'm not sure if there's somewhere that would do anything different from that.
Is this a Portugal versus Brazil difference? The Portuguese Christmas I listen to uses noite.
There's an abyss of differences between Portuguese from Brazil and Portugal. It's like taking in comparison both the british english and the american one.
Actually the difference between Brazilian and European Portuguese is much greater than that between US and British English. Both versions of English are stressed-time languages based on a rhythm of stressed syllables and reduced vowel sounds in unstressed syllables. Example: a STUdent was SENT to taCOma...inTENDing to EARN a diPLOMa. he SAID with the RAIN i don't WANT to reMAIN i THINK i'd preFER oklaHOma." (English nursery rhymes all have this pattern.)
European Portuguese is also a stressed-time language, unlike syllable-timed Brazilian Portuguese, which gives approximately the same stress to each syllable, producing a very different sound. And then we have the fact that many linguists believe that Brazilian Portuguese is a diglossic language - different from British / US English and European Portuguese in which the standard spoken language follows the rules of the written language.
Linguist Mário A. Perini is especially well-known for his Portuguese grammar books- his most recent:"Sofrendo a Gramática." - Yale U Press.
Can we hear from native brazilians? If you heard 'noite de natal' would you think the 24th or 25th of december?
I would think of 24th (at evening/night), staying up late up to the first hours of 25th.
(That's how some of the families I know celebrate Christmas)
"@vivisaurus I believe Christmas Night is the night of Christmas Day, Christmas Eve is the day before Christmas (24th of December). =)"
"@skandhalizaxion As for the literal translation, you're so damn right.
In cultural terms, we celebrate Christmas in December 24th during the night time until midnight to morning of December 25th. The midnight passing from a day to another works the same way for New Year's Eve (celebrated on December 31th until the morning of January 1st)."
If you need any help, feel free to message me anytime.
There is a big intensity difference between "gostar" and "adorar", pretty much as in "to like" and "to love".
What I am getting from these comments is that "noite de Natal" is a Portuguese expression for "the night before Christmas".
What I would like to know is, how would one then say "Christmas night"? Would it simply be "Natal a noite"?
It's kinda tricky. At least here where I live, things work like this:
If by Christmas night you mean the night when the family gets together for the nice dinner and everything, then it should be translated to noite de Natal - regardless of that taking place on the 24th or the 25th. The expression itself is about the get-together: it's not used to specify a date.
If you just want to mean the night of the 25th (specifying time, not the dinner), I suppose: On Christmas, at night = No Natal, a/de noite
Christmas eve = véspera de Natal = the 24th. It's not a special Christmas expression, you can have a "véspera" for any date, it's quite common.
Hope this doesn't confuse people even more, ha! XD