Every year the Orthodox Church of Monaco – Saint Elena’s Parish holds a festive gala dinner, following the Orthodox Christmas tradition of the old Julian calendar, which is 13 days after the Western Christmas. This celebration honours an Orthodox country to highlight the spirituality and culture of the chosen country in Monte-Carlo for local guests and visitors.
This fifth edition of the Orthodox Christmas Gala, with Bulgaria as the country of honour, took place on January 12, 2024, in the luxurious Salle des Arts at One Monte-Carlo, and raised €32,000.
The Gala was opened with a Christmas prayer service with His Grace Irenei, Bishop of London and Western Europe at the place of worship of the Orthodox Church of Monaco – Saint Elena’s Parish at 22, ave Grande-Bretagne, followed by the traditional walk to the Place du Casino.
As the guests arrived, a champagne reception began, then a magnificent Bulgarian dinner was served, orchestrated by the world’s most famous Bulgarian chef, Andre Tokev, who came especially from Sofia, Bulgaria to work on the art of Bulgarian gourmet cuisine around the best chefs of the SBM.
The guests who included Mr Guillaume Rose, representing the President of the National Council, Mrs Brigitte Boccone-Pagès, the Mayor of Beausoleil, Gérard Spinelli, and a delegation of around forty guests from Bulgaria had the pleasure of tasting a Christmas menu accompanied by the best wines and spirits of the Balkan country, accompanied by performances by the most renowned Orthodox choir of the Slavic country and with the special participation of the popular singer Olla.
Apart from the renowned bloggers and influencers who enriched the celebration with their presence, the festive decoration of the room was provided by Art Balloons Monaco. The luxurious floral arrangements and table decorations were courtesy of The Flower One. The event was supported by technical partner Vektor X, and to bring together all the service providers and allow a professional organisation of the evening, we thank Trust Events.
The celebration of the Republic of Bulgaria in Monte-Carlo was attended by representatives of the Bulgarian business community and could not have been so successful without the significant support of the Geneva bank Banque Eric Sturdza and the caviar house Monaco “Amura”.
“After our success last year in honouring Serbia, the choice of Bulgaria could not have been better, continuing with another Orthodox, Slavic and Balkan country, while having its own culinary, cultural, and music specific to Bulgaria. We are extremely proud of our parishioners and generous guests, and thank them for this first auction which will bear fruit for our parish of St. Elena, the Red Cross and Bulgaria,” said the Founding-President of the Orthodox Church. of Monaco – Saint Elena’s Parish, Alexander Hagerty.
“We have already chosen the country of honour for the sixth edition in January 2025 which will include the visit of a major economic delegation from the country in question, which will emphasise religious, diplomatic, cultural and touristic relations with the Principality”, continued Mr Hagerty.
The Orthodox Church of Monaco – Saint Empress Elena’s Parish – was the first Orthodox church in the Principality to be recognised by the Monegasque government, in 2017. The church and the community belong to the ROCOR. The Head Priest of the Church is Father Evgeny Nikitin, who celebrates all the sacraments, including Divine Liturgy, every Saturday at 09:00 at our place of worship at: 22, ave Grande-Bretagne, Monte-Carlo.