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Month of festivities

Macau to host several cultural events to celebrate its past and present

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 November, 2015, 10:02am
UPDATED : Friday, 20 November, 2015, 11:21am

Portuguese mariners arrived in Macau in the 16th century and, in 1535, the nation’s  traders were granted rights to berth ships and to carry out trading activities. Christian missionaries quickly followed.

Over the centuries, the Portuguese built homes, forts, schools and churches. St Paul’s Cathedral, whose ruins have become a symbol of the city, was built in 1835. It burned down during a typhoon, leaving behind only a stone façade.

While China has resumed sovereignty Macau, Portugal left more behind than buildings and street names. They also contributed to the city’s culture, which is evident every year in December, with a festive parade through the streets and alleys of the old city. December was chosen because the former Portuguese enclave was returned to Chinese sovereignty in December 1999.

The purpose of the parade is “to bring Macau’s multicultural community together while extending the hand of friendship to outsiders”. Other themes include love, peace and cultural integration; cultural heritage integration; and Latin culture.

A series of commemorative activities will also be held. There will be stage performances, face painting, and the list goes on.

The event will have special significance this year, because 2015 marks the 10th anniversary of the Historic Centre of Macao being named a World Heritage Site by Unesco. For this reason, the theme of this year’s parade will highlight the city’s keys Word Heritage attractions.

More than 2,000 people from Macau, Argentina, mainland China, France, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Portugal, Spain, and Taiwan, representing more than 50 performing groups danced and sang in last year’s parade, whose theme was “Let’s Uncover the Mysteries of Space”.

The parade began with an opening ceremony at the Ruins of St Paul’s, Macau’s most famous landmark, and wound its way through the St Lazarus district to Tap Seac Square, where a closing ceremony was held. Called “Peace, Love and Cultural Integration”, it was followed by a massive street party in the square.

The parade is organised by the Cultural Affairs Bureau and co-organised by several other governmental departments.

The Macau Shopping Festival will run from  December 5 to 31. The opening ceremony will be held at the Broadway Macau on December 5 . The theme of this year’s festival will be Portuguese culture. The slogan will be “I buy – Macau”.

Performers will include Soler, Shino Lin, Kandy @ Candy Club, Li Xing Nuo, and Filipe King. Macau’s chief executive will be in attendance.

Launched at last year’s festival, a “Lucky Draw Upon Arrival” will be held at the Macau Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal, the Taipa Temporary Ferry Terminal, the Macao Border Gate and Macau International Airport. Prizes will be given to visitors and locals.

The Macau Grand Sale will be held at the Annex Building of Macau Fisherman’s Wharf, where a wide range of goods will be discounted. Promotions will also take place.

The festival will be presented across the city’s key shopping districts, which include nine shopping malls and more than 15 shopping centres.

Three Community Promotion Events will be held. Activities will include performances, lucky draws, and gaming booths. These events will be primarily targeted at locals.

The second will be held at the Rotunda de Carlos da Maia, or Rotunda of Carlos of Maia, on  December 12, while the third will be held at the Mercado Municipal do Bairro Iao Hon, or Municipal Market of Iao Hon District, on December 19.

The Community Promotion Event will be held at Jardim da Cidade das Flores, or Garden of the City of Flowers, on December 5.

Established in 2010, the festival is held to promote the development of local small- to medium-sized enterprises through diverse social channels to increase the publicity and sales.

To know more about the Parade Route, please visit: http://www.icm.gov.mo/macaoparade/5/en/