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Tuesday 19 February 2019

One destination; dozens of festivals

Macao is one of the most fascinating destinations in Asia with its melange of Chinese and Portuguese cultures. 

The autonomous region is gearing up for a busy 2019 with a calendar filled with a mix of festivals and events to mark its 20th anniversary as a special administrative region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China.

Much of the limelight will be on Macao’s billing as a member of the elite global list of UNESCO Creative Cities for Gastronomy.

The former Portuguese territory and its 650,000 residents are preparing for a year-long program of events that will be headed by mascot Mak Mak, a black-faced spoonbill native to Macao. 

Among the event highlights are: 

· A-Ma Festival, where homage is paid to Macao's most popular deity, the Goddess of Seafarers (April 27)

· 30th Macao Arts Festival, various locations (May 4 – June 2)

· Procession of Our Lady of Fatima (May 13)

· Macao International Dragon Boat Races and Festival (June 1, 2 and 7)

· 19th Macao Lotus Flower Festival (June 3-16)

· 2019 Wushu Masters Challenge, martial arts contest (August 1-4)

· Mid-Autumn Festival (September 13)

· The 30th Macao Fireworks Display Contest, with additional day bringing together a record 12 countries (between September 7 and October 5)

· 33rd Macao International Music Festival, various locations (October 4 – November 3).

Macao will once again host the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants promotion (March 25-26) at the Wynn Palace Cotai and from April 26-28, Macao will host its 7th Macao International Travel Industry Expo (MITE) at The Venetian Macao.

Food for thought later in the year is the 19th Macau Food Festival (above) , which runs from November 8-24.

December is traditionally a busy month and 2019 will be no exception when the city’s stages the 9th Macau Shopping Festival, the Macao Light Festival, the giant Macao International Parade and the 4th International Film Festival and Awards. 

Sports fans will have the 66th Macau Grand Prix and the Macao International Marathon to look forward to, while lovers of fireworks will prepare for a colourful evening on December 20 to commemorate the 20th year since the establishment of the Macao Administrative Region.

“There’s little doubt that Macao knows how to party,” said Helen Wong, general manager of the Macao Government Tourism Office (Australia and New Zealand). “The number of festivals and events on the calendar is overwhelming.

“Being recognised by UNESCO for its gastronomy is one of the countless highlights in a city which has always been renowned for having one of the world’s earliest forms of fusion food.” 

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