November 19 – Monaco's National Holiday

Posted November 19, 2013

In the U.S., many people enjoy fireworks on the evening of our national holiday, July 4.

In Monaco, people enjoy spectacular fireworks the night before the national holiday.

So that means that all the whizzes and the booms, all the bangs and pops and pows, all the huge sparkly blooms of a firework show over a harbor happened last night

And that means—we missed it!

Today the people of the Principality of Monaco are enjoying the pomp and circumstance of the Knights of Malta, state officials, and diplomats congregating in a gorgeous array of uniforms at mass and in the Place St. Nicholas afterwards. They are crowding under the windows of the Prince's Palace to see the “Princely family” wave. 

They are eating dried fish and barbajuans, dumplings or pastry pockets filled with Swiss chard, spinach, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, onions and leeks. (Barbajuans sound a bit like Italian raviolis or Polish pierogies.)

Monaco is a record-holder!

Monaco is a city that is also a nation—the second smallest independent nation in the world. It is surrounded by France and the Mediterranean Sea. It has the highest population density and the lowest unemployment rate of any nation in the world. (It's really hard to have a lower unemployment rate – since there is ZERO unemployment in Monaco!)

Monaco is a playground?

Because of it's pleasant weather, beautiful scenery, and low tax rates, Monaco is often called the playground of the super-rich. Check out this little vacation “shack.” 

You can see a lot more of the tiny nation in this Rick Steves video

Also on this date:

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