Nowadays street decorations begin to sprout from lamp posts around the beginning of December, even before the start of the ski season. More distinctive, however, are the nativity scenes or pessebres, depicting the countryside and the Bethlehem stable in which Jesus was born. Canillo holds an annual competition for the most intricate and life-like home-made scene; while some of the major churches have large layouts which attract children and adults alike. With moss for grass and tiny rocks for boulders, little running streams and waterfalls (and hidden electric pumps to circulate the water), camels bearing the Three Kings coming from afar, tiny stoneware jugs, the wooden manger with the minute figure of baby Jesus, each scene looks as real as possible. And crouched in there somewhere is the “caganer”.


or ‘shitter’, is a little squatting terracotta figurine with its pants down. Originally a farmer but nowadays he is as often a famous politician, a footballer, even the Pope or an Andorran ‘conseller’ ­– member of parliament wearing a black tricorn hat as found on the packets of ‘Conseller’ coffee. The Caganer is usually tucked away, squatting, half hidden in a corner of the traditional crib scene so the children have to really search him out. He was originally said to bring fertility and good luck.

(This extract is taken from Andorra Revealed, a book jam-packed with entertaining details about the country past and present. Available in bookshops and hotels and online from Amazon.)


  • Thursday, 20th December at 19h at the Centre de Congressos, Andorra la Vella. La Revolta dels Tions’ – Festival de Nadal de l’IM (The Revolt of the Tiós. The Institute of Music’s Christmas festival)


El cant dels ocells Adeste Fideles

CellAND, Cellos de l’IM

Anitras’s Dance, de la Suite “Peer Gynt”

Roland Moles, David Rocha Patrick Balaguer & Alba Juan guitars

Fairy tale of New York

Chloé Viñolas, Martina Ricart Laia Montraveta, Laia Tarifa flutes

El noi de la mare

Clara Vila& Adrià Mujal clarinets

Santa Claus is coming to town

Grup de saxos IM

Dilley Dance

Orquestra infantil IM Dir: Jordi Albelda

Jingle Bells

Hao Sheng Zeng & Xiaoen Lai piano for four hands

We wish you a merry Christmas

Arnau Foubert & Èric Manubens piano for four hands

Santa Nit

Pere Gonzàlez de Alaiza & Harry Gras saxophones

Marc Tomàs  accordion

Andante festivo Amelie

Orquestra IM Dir: Jordi Albelda

Caga Tió,  L’hivern ja ha arribat

Aula de Tallers & Preparatori Dir: Anahi Pinaorgotty, Míriam Manubens piano
We wish you a Merry Christmas

Aula de Cant Coral Orquestra IM Dir: Toni Gibert. Piano: Míriam Manubens

  • Friday, 21st December at 23h at the cafè teatre La Fada Ignorant, Andorra La Vella. (Free entry, pay as you leave) Concerts a La Fada: Mateólika. The musician and singer David Mateos (Mateólika) began his artistic career in the Trinitat Nova neighborhood of Barcelona, ​​in 2001, as part of the Latin rock band Stoy Ke Trino. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kV0D7HoUV98
  • Saturday, 22nd December at 23h at the Cafè Teatre La Fada Ignorant, Andorra La Vella. (Free entry, pay as you leave) Concerts a La Fada: Joel Reyes. Joel Reyes, from Tarragona, returns to his beloved Fada Ignorant after presenting the bookNo tardes en suceder. It will be a very special night, and there will be no other known topics. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzRPCgSx1o8
  • Sunday, 23rd December at 12h at the parish church, Ordino. Christmas Concert by the Coral Casamanya.
  • Sunday, 23rd December at 12.45h at the parish church, La Massana. Carol Concert by the choirs of San Antonio and Les Orenetes de la Massana.
  • Sunday, 23rd December at 20h at the Cafè Teatre La Fada Ignorant, Andorra La Vella. (Free entry, pay as you leave) Concerts a La Fada: Glorinda Gatti. Songs in sentimental danger. Music, humour, emotion …. and danger!Recital with theatrical elements where tango, bolero, cueca and candombe coexist in a constant interchange of words, gestures and glances typical of a coffee concert.


  • Guided Snowshoe Excursions. Every weekend until April, from 9.30h – 14h, leaving from the Plaça de les Fontetes, La Massana. (18€ for 12 years and above 9€ for 6 – 12s. Snowshoes included. No previous experience needed Bring good coat and shoes.) Escorted by knowledgeable guides, visit either the black pine woods and old village of Pal or the woods of Beixalis, la Font de Maillor or the Cortals de Sispony.

24th December, Christmas Eve.

PARE NOEL/FATHER CHRISTMAS is welcomed into each parish in the early evening accompanied by variegated helpers: elves, gnomes etc. He usually arrives in the town’s main square and mounts onto a stage covered by some sort of regal tent. From there he receives letters of polite good wishes and requests from long queues of excited children.



  • 25th December. CHRISTMAS LUNCH/DINNER at the Hotel Montané, Arinsal LUNCH from 12h – 17.30h. DINNER 18h – 23h. (Cost for lunch: 28€ per adult & 18€ per child. Dinner: 33€ per adult & 23€ per child. Reservations: at Reception or 737 535 or [email protected] )


  • Christmas day aperitif served with cava.


  • Mixed green salad with king prawns, lemon-chive vinaigrette, capers, cherry tomatos and pomegranate.


  • Homemade cream of tomato soup, basil-Parmesan croutons.


  • Roast turkey with trimmings: sage and onion stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, Brussel sprouts, roast potatoes, carrot purée and chipolata sausages.


  • White wine poached fresh salmon, roast potatoes, asparagus, green pea sauce.


  • Mince pie or Christmas pudding with brandy sauce and whipped cream.

Christmas Crackers


Table is reserved for a sitting of 2 hours and will only be held for up to 20 minutes after the reserved time.


Culturally yours,



Look for about the author of the blog Clare Allcard


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