Macao lights up a winter wonderland
Macao has been transformed into a winter wonderland with almost everything from a “magical” ice-skating rink to a larger-than-life toy train decorating the major resorts.
Stroll along the neon-lit Cotai Strip, and you’ll see both The Parisian and The Venetian are among a host of resorts to embrace the festive season in spectacular style.
Colourful lighting and breathtaking 3D projections have taken centre stage and will continue to do so until January 6, 2019. Among the many highlights is a stunning 20-metre long inverted Christmas tree which hangs from the ceiling in the lobby rotunda of The Parisian.
Until December 30, visitors will also be able to watch in awe as the Eiffel Tower plays host to a grand illumination show as skates slice across the ice rink on the tower’s level 7 observation deck.
While The Parisian celebrates its Winter in Paris, established neighbours The Venetian is celebrating a Winter in Venice with more bright lights and entertainment of its own. Mirrored in the waters of the resort’s lagoon is the figure of a 16-metre high brightly-decorated Christmas tree and a giant-sized The Venetian Express Christmas Train for the youngsters to admire.
December is a special time to be in Macao and it’s not just the resorts that are turning on a breathtaking spectacle. The Christmas spirit extends along the many cobblestone streets and squares – and in front of its UNESCO-listed historic sites – as the former Portuguese enclave hosts vibrant festivals of its own.
Among the major festivals and events for December are:
- Macao Light Festival 2018 – Time Travel in Macao. From 7.00 to 10.00 each night from December 2-31, 2018, this festival will revolve around the concept of time and weave in such local elements as gastronomy, architecture, culture and creativity, to mention a few. The festival will not only focus on the city’s east-meets-west cultures, but also detail nostalgic stories and childhood memories of Macao people, leading guests onto a glittery journey across time and space in Macao. Besides projection mapping shows, interactive games and light installations showcasing the gastronomic culture of Macao, “Food Truck x Light” and Gastronomy Night Market will debut.
- International Film Festival and Awards: Macao – With the likes of Academy Award winner Nicolas Cage as a talent ambassador, this year’s 3rd annual IFFAM – December 8 to 14 – is shaping up as the largest and most spectacular and competitive in its short history. A star-studded list of directors and actors will take to the red carpet for the festival and awards along with young promising movie makers. Other special guests include multi-award-winning Hong Kong actor, singer, and dancer Aaron Kwok, and one of the most recognisable names in Asian entertainment, Lim Yoon A (known as Yoona).
- 2018 Macao International Parade – Considered one of the most vibrant festivals on the calendar, the multi-national parade begins at the iconic Ruins of St Paul’s spectacular and waves through the streets to Sai Van Lake Square where the Handover to China celebrations take place culminating in an evening of fireworks over the Macau Tower.
- 8th Macao Shopping Festival – From December 1-31, visitors and locals will rub shoulders in a popular festival featuring hot specials in the lead up to Christmas and the New Year.
Details: Macao Government Tourism Office, phone (02) 9264 1488, www.visitmacao.com.au