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Experience Macao

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Macao Government Tourism Office

Dazzling festivals throughout December: Macau’s seasonal delights to light up the city

A themed parade, 3D films projected onto historic monuments and an International Film Festival are just some of the many highlights on offer

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 November, 2016, 9:14am
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 November, 2016, 10:00am

Starry, starry nights take on a special magic in Macau in December when the popular Macau Light Festival returns for another season.

Last year, crowds were captivated by the flamboyant, romantic and entertaining “Journey of Lights” which unfolded as a dazzling adventure, engaging all with its interactive programmes. Throughout the coming December, the fun continues.

See Macau’s World Heritage cityscape as you never have before as technology brings the stories to life illuminated on historic monuments. Imagine larger-than-life 3D films projected onto the Ruins of St Paul’s or Senado Square – this is just a taste of the exciting experience awaiting.

Many who enjoyed the festival last year have made it a must-attend entry in their end-of-year calendar. Watch for details coming soon on the city’s tourism website.  To help you plan your visit, the website also has a handy route map showing the locations of the various lighting installations, and the places to view them for best effect.

You’ll need more than a day to immerse yourself in the seasonal festivities running throughout December.

The line-up begins with the 2016 Macau Galaxy Entertainment International Marathon on the morning of Sunday, December 4. Early risers should be in the Olympic Sport Centre stadium at 6am for the start (and finish) of this exciting event.

Then, after a relaxing lunch, pick your place to watch the Parade through Macau, Latin City being held from the afternoon of December 4, into the evening. This colourful annual parade showcases the creativity of local and international arts and performance groups as they interpret the cultural origins of Macau.

This year’s parade is themed “VIVA’s Adventure”, narrating the story of how VIVA, inspired by the Classic of Mountains and Seas (Shan Hai Jing), makes a journey from Macau in order to explore customs and traditions from around the world, only to discover that the best destination is the place where he started from. Join in welcoming VIVA’s return to Macau on the day of the parade.

Then stay on to enjoy the first Macau International Film Festival and Awards (December 8-11).  The festival is a celebration of Chinese-language, East Asian and international cinema in all its forms. For its first edition, the organising committee has invited internationally renowned figures from the film industry to participate.

Among other exciting things to do, take an elevator ride to the top of the half-size replica of the Eiffel Tower, a feature of the newly opened The Parisian hotel, for a bird’s eye view of the Cotai Strip.

Watch and enjoy the water show at the newly-opened Wynn Palace – it’s free. Or go to one of the international shows being staged during December, including the spectacular House of Dancing Water at the City of Dreams or the new House of Magic Show at the Studio City.

You’ll be spoiled for a choice of where to stay. Perhaps try The Parisian Macao, the recently opened four-star hotel with an enclosed walkway linking the Venetian on the Cotai Strip. Or Wynn Palace, a five-star property with some extraordinary places to dine, including the Wing Lei Palace. The familiar floral sculptures from Las Vegas Wynn Palace are also a feature along with a giant children’s area with carousel.

Hotels located nearby these attractions include the all-suite Banyan Tree Macao, while the JW Marriott is closest to the outdoor water world. A new four-star Broadway hotel opened recently within the same precinct and has an outdoor “food street”, where you can sample street food from the Macau peninsula. Harbourview Hotel, close to the ferry terminal on Macau peninsula, is a fascinating new four-star waterfront hotel which resembles the architecture of aristocratic Prague.

With all the colourful festivals and events, new shows and attractions, and exciting blend of hotels, ‘tis indeed the season to be merry in marvellous Macau.