What’s On in Monaco Over the Holidays?
Discover how the Principality of Monaco sparkles with magic during the holidays and plan your visit to this wonderland to celebrate the most festive time of the year.
The holidays bring sparkling decorations, delicious treats, joyful traditions and entertainment to the Principality.
Monte-Carlo SBM – the Monaco-based luxury collection of hotels, casinos and restaurants – will launch the holiday season with a ceremonial lighting in front of the Casino de Monte-Carlo on December 6. A glistening forest with 100 trees of up to 30 feet, hundreds of white, silver and gold twinkling lights, more than 4 miles of garlands, 600 strobe bulbs and 18,000 square feet of white cotton wool will transform and illuminate the legendary Casino Square.
The magic of the holidays also comes to Monaco’s Christmas Village on the Port Hercule. In a delightful decor, chalet shops offer special hand-crafted wares, family-friendly creative workshops and animations. Young and old alike can experience the thrill of ice-skating during the day and ice karting at night.
Culinary specialties not only include the traditional treats such as “Barbajuan” (a crisp, baked or fried puff pastry treat filled with Swiss chard, ricotta, leeks, garlic and herbs) or “Fougasse” (a small, sweet bread flavored with oranges and decorated with nuts, raisins and anise), but especially the typical “U Pan de Natale” whose tradition dates back to a very old time. According to the legend, this Christmas bread was a big and round homemade loaf baked from Monaco’s wheat and flour. Four to seven nuts were placed on top of the bread to form a Latin cross, an olive branch to represent peace and a citrus branch the richness of the Monegasque soil. The bread was blessed by families at home and at the midnight mass in the magnificent Cathedral of Monaco on December 24. Local bakeries bring back the tradition every year by offering U Pan de Natale a few days preceding Christmas in exchange for donations benefiting Monaco’s charities.
To ring in the New Year, raise a toast, celebrate beginnings of all kinds and feel the joyous spirit of the season soar across the sky with unforgettable fireworks.
Additional Holiday Season Events
Mark your calendar for sensational performances not to be missed during the holiday season.
The Bolshoi Theatre Ballet will perform “The Taming of the Shrew” choreographed by Jean-Christophe Maillot, Director-Choreographer of Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, at the Grimaldi Forum on December 19. This show will officially kick off the “2015, Year of Russia” celebration in Monaco. Next year, through more than 130 events, Monaco will showcase and pay tribute to the shared rich cultural heritage of the two States through ballets, operas, concerts, visual arts and gastronomy.
Further to the annual and renowned Monte-Carlo Jazz Festival at the end of November, Woody Allen & Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Bandwill give a concert in the mythical Salle Garnier of the Opéra de Monte-Carlo on December 29. For more than 35 years, Woody Allen and his jazz band, directed by Eddy Davis, have enchanted the public with a repertoire influenced by New Orleans music. Happy Holidays from Monaco!