on the eve of

on the eve of something

Fig. just before something, possibly the evening before something. John decided to leave school on the eve of his graduation. The team held a party on the eve of the tournament.
See also: of, on

on the eve of

Just prior to, as in On the eve of the conference the main speaker backed out. This expression uses eve, literally "the night before," more loosely. [Late 1700s]
See also: of, on
References in classic literature ?
The Communists turn their attention chiefly to Germany, because that country is on the eve of a bourgeois revolution that is bound to be carried out under more advanced conditions of European civilisation, and with a much more developed proletariat, than that of England was in the seventeenth, and of France in the eighteenth century, and because the bourgeois revolution in Germany will be but the prelude to an immediately following proletarian revolution.
I am reminded of a passage in the life of a sweet lady, a friend of mine, whose daughter was on the eve of marriage, when suddenly her lover died.
It needs scarcely to be told, with what feelings, on the eve of a Nantucket voyage, I regarded those marble tablets, and by the murky light of that darkened, doleful day read the fate of the whalemen who had gone before me, Yes, Ishmael, the same fate may be thine.
I know not, young sir; but I can only say that on the eve of Cadsand, and on the eve of Crecy, and on the eve of Nogent, I dreamed of a red cow; and now the dream has come upon me again, so I am now setting a very keen edge to my blade.
The relations between the United States and Great Britain were at that time in a critical state; in fact, the two countries were on the eve of a war.
Many officers, monsieur, would permit no one to enter their camp, particularly on the eve of a probable battle.
By some extraordinary oversight, Miss Bygrave had been left, on the eve of her marriage, unprovided with a maid.