Christmas in Monaco is celebrated with a public holiday every 25 December, as it is in a majority of countries around the world. This Christian festivity commemorates the birth of Jesus, and is part of a 22-28 day season in the Christian calendar known as Advent.
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Monaco is a very unique little nation, and it has many unique and ancient Christmas traditions as well. Some of these traditions have become less common in recent years, but there have also been efforts to revive them.
Every Christmas Eve, families gather together to eat a delicious and bountiful Christmas feast. Turkey is often the main dish, but there will also be many other delicacies. And there are traditionally 13 deserts to represent Jesus Christ and the 12 Apostles.
But the most famous Christmas food of all in Monaco is Christmas Bread, or “Pan de Natale”, which is a round loaf that is very sweet, topped with hazelnuts, and has a cross on top of it. Christmas bread is blessed by the priest during the Christmas Mass each year.
Other traditions include blessing the meal with a cross made out of two olive branches dipped in oil, holding raffles and games after Christmas dinner, and letting children indulge to their heart’s content with nougats, pine nuts, and pistachios at Christmas time.