Lunar New Year

Macau Festivals
Macao boasts a unique festival culture, including such traditional Chinese celebrations as Lunar New Year. The following list of some major festivals celebrated in Macau offers extra reasons to visit. It also illustrates the wealth of traditions of this community’s multicultural heritage.

Chinese New Year Holidays – It is the most important and colorful Chinese festival celebrated by the majority of the local population, where shops, offices, factories close for this traditional holiday. During ten days there are a huge number of events celebrating the New Year. The long dragon and lions dance on the streets, crowds visit the temples, lanterns, flowers and entertainment comes alive in the most important squares of the city. At night, the celebrations continue with colorful lanterns placed around. Small balls of glutinous rice are prepared as dessert, for homophonic reasons and symbolize the "ribbon of friendship", "family reunion" or "good luck" for the Chinese.

A-Ma Festival - Homage is paid to Macao's most popular deity, the Goddess of Seafarers, from whom Macao is said to derive its name. The maiden A-Ma (also known as Tin Hau) ordered the elements to calm down when a storm threatened a boat. The winds abated. On the spot where the boat reached land, the grateful mariners built the A-Ma Temple. A day when seafarers and their families visit the ancient temple in the Inner Harbor.

Tam Kong Festival – After A-Ma, Tam Kong is the most venerated deity among fishermen, and on this day he is celebrated with Cantonese Opera performances, a street procession and dragon and lion dances.

Macao Arts Festival - The Macao Arts Festival dramatically lights up the city every early summer, bringing together theatre, dance, music, circus, multimedia and visual arts in an artistic panorama of events. A mix of local, regional and international performers from various regions and countries around the world present a diversity of programmes, including Cantonese Opera, Western classical and modern music, Chinese music and drama, Macanese drama, and a host of exciting artistic experiences enjoyed by enthusiastic multicultural audiences for an entire month. The icing on the cake is that several performances are hosted by some of Macao’s enchanting and atmospheric UNESCO-listed World Heritage sites.

Mid-Autumn Festival

Dragon Boat Festival (Tun Ng Festival) - This old Chinese festival is to commemorate the heroic poet Wat Yuen who protested against corruption by drowning himself. Today all celebrations are concentrated on the famous Dragon Boat Races, which in Macao takes place on the Nam Van Lake. Many local teams and foreign teams take part in this colorful event.

Mid-Autumn Festival - The Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the fifteenth day of the eighth month in the lunar calendar. Festive vibes permeate the town where main streets are decorated with colorful lanterns to welcome the Festival. As one of the most-celebrated festivities in Chinese culture and so in Macao, the Mid-Autumn Festival symbolizes a time for family reunion. Locals enjoy eating moon cakes and offer this sweet pastry as a gift to relatives and friends as a tradition for this occasion.

Macao International Music Festival - The Macao International Music Festival – a major annual event attracting hundreds of thousands to the city in October and November - assembles internationally renowned artists from all over the world in a feast of the senses. The programe typically features opera, orchestral and chamber music, Chinese folk music, jazz, Broadway numbers and a dynamic mix of all things musical from every corner of the globe. Several World Heritage sites such as Dom Pedro V Theatre, Mount Fortress and St. Dominic’s Church serve as inspiring settings for various concerts and performances.


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