Macau, considered to be a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, has spent years slowly growing its communities and economy. The region has seen significant growth in industry and tourism and now provides its own banking, communication, and transportation systems.
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Despite the area’s growth, Macau has managed to cling tightly to a culture that is as diverse as the inhabitants themselves. Each year there are a series of festivals in Macau, each bringing visitors and locals together for cultural experiences like no other. We’re proud to present the eight most significant festivals held in Macau each year.
8. Macau Arts Festival
The 2009 Macau Arts Festival will be held from May 2nd through May 20th and is sponsored by the Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Macau SAR Government. In its 20th year, the festival will feature more than 70 performing artists visiting from around the world.
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Local artists from Macau and mainland China will likely present pieces that showcase local artwork while those visiting from the US, Spain, Germany, the UK, and elsewhere will act as windows to the performing arts as they exist in the outside world.
7. Dragon Boat Festival
The Macau International Dragon Boat Festival is held each year in order to honor the life of Wat Yuen. Wat Yuen was a poet who drowned himself in an attempt to protest corruption in the Chinese government. The races are held on the Nam Van Lake and always feature both local and international racers. The 2009 Dragon Boat Festival will be held on May 24, 26, and 28.
6. Macau International Fireworks Display Contest
The Macau International Fireworks Display Contest is certainly a sight to behold. Teams from around the world gather in Macau to showcase a spectacular fireworks display combined with an enthralling musical score. Some of the best pyrotechnic companies in the world will gather to participate in this year’s festival.
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The 21st Macau International Fireworks Display Contest will be held on September 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th, and October 1st. Sponsors will also hold competitions searching for the best photographs and drawings inspired by the event, awarding both trophies and monetary prizes.
5. Macau International Music Festival
The Macau International Music Festival has grown over the years and is now considered to be one of the most prominent musical festivals in the area. Artists from around the globe will gather in Macau in either October or November in order to share their unique and diverse musical styles.
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Local artists will showcase some of Macau’s culturally inspired music while others will showcase both Eastern and Western musical styles. Genres include choral, folk, jazz, contemporary, opera, and much more.
4. Macau Open (Golf Tournament)
Macau may not be the largest region on earth, but golfers who enjoy playing on beautiful greens won’t mind going out of their way to attend the Macau Open held at the Macau Golf and Country Club. Regional golfers gather annually and have the opportunity to compete against world renowned golfers. The 2009 Macau Open will happen sometime in October.
3. Macau Food Festival
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Held in November, the Macau Food Festival is one you won’t want to miss – especially if you love sampling cuisine from around the world. The festival is broken down into seven main zones, including Chinese, Asian, Local, Greater China, European, dessert, and Taiwan Night Bazaar. Visitors to the festival will enjoy sampling different flavors in between musical performances, games, and rides. The official dates for the 2009 festival have not yet been released.
2. Macau Grand Prix
The Macau Grand Prix has been held annually for more than 50 years and features four days of fun and excitement. Including both car and motorcycle races, the event brings life to Macau and inspires locals to decorate the streets as they welcome tourists from around the world. The 56th Macau Grand Prix will be held from between November 19th and 22nd, 2009.
1. Macau International Marathon
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The Macau International Marathon is held in December and features marathon runners from around the world. Athletes will run a full course that takes them to Taipa, the Coloane Islands, and more. The runners are primarily from Macau and Hong Kong but athletes from other countries tend to join the marathon as well. The 2009 dates have not yet been confirmed.
As you can tell, Macau is bustling with activity all year round. These are just the major festivals happening throughout the year. The calendar is littered with smaller cultural festivals. No matter when you visit, you’re bound to find something exciting happening in Macau!