Everything you need to know about Tibb’s Eve

Posted by: Kelsey Stanley

When you ask a Newfoundlander when Christmas starts they will tell you Tibb’s Eve! Some may even tell you that it is the best night of the whole holiday season. It may even be a shocker but some workplaces even give employees the next day off or this will be the start of the holiday work break! It really is one of my favourite days of the whole year.  

Tibb’s Eve is December 23rd in Newfoundland and is the significance of the start to the Christmas season. This is a time to get together with all your friends to celebrate the year with many drinks before spending the holiday season with your family. This holiday was formed in the mid-20th century as an excuse to drink before Christmas, the first night during Advent when it was appropriate to have a drink. Advent was a sober, religious time of year and traditionally people would not drink alcohol until Christmas Day at the earliest. According to Wikipedia, Tibb’s Eve, also known as Tipp’s Eve, Tip’s Eve or Tipsy Eve, originated on the south coast of Newfoundland. Tibb’s eve has become widely recognized throughout the whole province and is even celebrated by Newfoundlanders living outside the province passing on this festive tradition to other parts of Canada and the world. 

When I was living in Newfoundland I always had the December 24th off of work as December 23rd was always dedicated to meeting up with all my friends that live in the province and those that had moved away. There is never a real agenda but a new place for everyone to gather and simply drink and be merry! It is a great time of the year to catch up with friends and celebrate with festive drinks and finger foods. 


A pre-COVID celebration of Tibb’s Eve with Balsom’s Kelsey Stanley and her friends. Photo courtesy of Kelsey Stanley.


YMM’s President Krista Balsom recently wrote in the 2021 Holiday Guide some of the Newfoundland classics for Tibb’s Eve and the Holiday season. Some of these include: 

Purity Syrup Cocktail

One of my favourite flavours during the holidays and very much reminds me of my childhood is that of Purity Syrup. Think super sweet, delicious almost kool-aid like taste that gets mixed with either water, 7-up, club soda, etc. You can buy this in most Fort McMurray grocery stores in the Newfoundland section. My favourite way to serve it is in this bubbly cocktail. 

1.5 oz vodka

1 oz purity syrup 

6 oz club soda or sparkling wine (you could also use lemon lime soda if you like things sweeter) 

Splash of fresh-squeezed lime juice. 

Mix all of these together and serve over lots of crushed ice and a lime wedge. 


Krista’s Holiday Sangria Punch 

Everyone who has ever been at one of my parties know that I always make some sort of wine punch/sangria and the holidays are no exception. Typically known as a summer patio drink, sangria has its place at every party in my opinion! Here is how I make this festive version. 

2 bottles white wine (any variety, but I typically use a less expensive Pinot Grigio)

1 bottle or 2 litres of cranberry cocktail 

1 26 oz bottle of vodka 

2 litre bottle of 7-Up or Sprite 

2 litre bottle of Club Soda 

2 packages of fresh or frozen cranberries

2 limes sliced 

¼ cup fresh squeezed lime juice 

1 lemon sliced 

Mix all ingredients in large drink dispenser. Stir well. This is best made a few hours before the party so the flavours have time to deepen and mix. Serve over lots of ice and garnish with a lime wedge and enjoy.


For the rest of these great recipes and more about Christmas in the Harbour, be sure to check them out in the 2021 YMM Holiday Guide, presented by Peter Pond Mall. 

Happy Tibb’s Eve to all that celebrates! Cheers!