watch night

noun
1.
the last night of the year, observed in a watch meeting.

Origin:
1735–45

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
watch night
 
n
1.  a.  the night of December 24, during which a service is held to mark the arrival of Christmas Day
 b.  the night of December 31, during which a service is held to mark the passing of the old year and the beginning of the new
2.  the service held on either of these nights

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Example sentences
In many of the churches watch night services were held.
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