If you’re not a Newfoundlander you might not be familiar with this, or you might call it Tibb’s Eve or Tipsy Eve. Tipp’s Eve (as I like to call it) is December 23rd (also known as Christmas Eve Eve).
For me, Tipp’s Eve is a time to drink. …And that’s pretty much it. Not that we Newfoundlanders need an excuse to have a beverage, really. Other than that, I never knew much about this particular “holiday”.
Turns out, it’s to do with Advent. Advent (around the mid-20th century) was a time where people would abstain from alcohol. It was basically as dry as Lent. People would abstain from Christmas Eve right up until old Christmas Day.
Around World War II people on the south coast of Newfoundland began to associate December 23rd as the perfect time for a little “tipple”. In some areas men would go around to each other’s homes to have a little drink. It was a great excuse to have a beverage and still obey the strictness of Advent afterwards.
But why the word Tibb? I’ll just copy and paste from Wikipedia for the answer, because I doubt I’d be able to do any better:
The word “tibb” is archaic slang for a sexually promiscuous woman. In 17th century English plays Tibb was a common character of a loose-moraled woman used for comic relief. Referring to Saint Tibb was a joke that would go over the head of children who believed her to be a real saint. Similarly, Tibb’s Eve was a “non-time” like “the twelfth of never” or “when two Mondays fall together.”
So if you say you’ll never drink/marry/dance again, then you’ll only drink/marry/dance on Tibb’s Eve.
There’s no particular way to celebrate this day, but I think the best way would be to gather friends or family around and have a nice drink (or two). Maybe some rum & eggnog or a nice glass of Baileys or maybe some slush (vodka/water/sugar/frozen oj/frozen pink lemonade all mixed together and frozen – oh me nerves, it’s some good).
Tonight’s my workplace Christmas party, so it looks like I’ll definitely be celebrating Tipp’s Eve.