WHEN it comes to celebrating old world charm alongside modernisation, Macao is one of those cities that embraces its history and yet looks towards the future.
That is why many of their annual festivals straddle both worlds beautifully, while offering visitors something they can never find anywhere else.
One of the annual festivals that visitors and locals mark on their calendars is the Macao Light Festival. This year’s festival is themed Macao Light Festival 2018 – Time Travel in Macao, and will be held at various locations in Macao.
The opening ceremony of Macao Light Festival 2018 – Time Travel in Macao will be held at the Nam Van Lake Nautical Centre on Dec 2, inviting residents and visitors on a magical journey across time and space.
Using time as the concept, the Festival will light up local elements of gastronomy, humanity, architecture, culture, creativity, and other realms.
Not only will it embrace Macao’s East-meets-West cultures, but also offer nostalgic stories and childhood memories of Macao people.
The Macao Light Festival covers three distinctive themed routes, covering eleven locations across five districts, connecting a string of new locations, and leading visitors into different local districts.
The three routes are ‘Play Time’, which passes through St. Dominic’s Church and the Ruins of St. Paul, as well as new locations including Pátio de Chôn Sau, Rua das Estalagens, Rua dos Ervanários and Largo do Pagode do Bazar in the central district, in addition to the Camões Garden at St. Anthony’s Parish and Calçada da Igreja de S. Lázaro at St. Lazarus’ Parish.
Next is ‘Youth Time’, which covers the Nam Van Lake Nautical Centre and Anim’Arte Nam Van at Praia Grande (Nam Van) and Sai Van district.
Finally, there is ‘Taste Time’, which passes through the Taipa Houses at Our Lady of Carmel Parish and new locations including the Taipa Municipal Market, Pak Tai Temple and the square in front of Pak Tai Temple.
Residents and visitors can take photos with the Macao tourism mascot Mak Mak, who will appear along the three routes in a total of 14 image styles centred around the theme of Christmas, chefs, and gastronomy. One of the activities requires participants to look for Mak Mak along the routes, take pictures with it, and complete the required steps in exchange for souvenirs.
Taking a bite out of Macao
The gastronomic elements of the festival are also intended to highlight the 2018 Macao Year of Gastronomy.
Five projection mapping shows will also be staged at three locations, besides an itinerant projection show at the Taipa Municipal Market.
Three projection mapping shows produced by their respective teams from Portugal, Belgium and Macao are set to dazzle the Ruins of St. Paul’s at different periods. Two other projection mapping shows have been meticulously created by local production entities: In ‘Flashing Macao’ at St. Dominic’s Church, the Macao tourism mascot Mak Mak will lead the audience to time travel back to old Macao before returning to the present and venturing into the city of the future; ‘Search for the Taste of Memory’ at the square in front of Pak Tai Temple will open the eyes of the audience to local dining cultures and habits in different decades; while the itinerant projection show at the Taipa Municipal Market, ‘Taste Buds Surprise’, will showcase the diverse cuisines of Macao.
During this festival the last projection mapping show will start at 9:50pm, while the light installations at Anim’Arte Nam Van will be illuminated until 12.10am on Dec 31
The Food Truck x Light event, held for the first time this year, will allow the public to complete different designated activities in exchange for illuminated drinks and souvenirs at food trucks parked at three locations, Largo de Pagode de Bazar, Nam Van Lake Nautical Centre, and Taipa Houses.
Meanwhile, the Gastronomy Night Market will unfold with local signature delights at the square in front of Pak Tai Temple as another new highlight. Information stations will be set up along the three routes of the Macao Light Festival, to provide information and offer souvenirs for redemption.
Fun for everyone
Look out for the interactive games and light installations during the festival:
‘Nostalgic Hopscotch’ at Largo do Pagode do Bazar will allow the audience to relive their childhood fun in Macao by hopping across the dazzling checkers.
‘Future Mailbox’ at Calçada da Igreja de S. Lázaro will let the audience express themselves on the big screen via the Macao Light Festival 2018 mobile app.
‘Fly over Macao VR Experience’ at the Nam Van Lake Nautical Centre is the first virtual reality experience of the Macao Light Festival, letting participants soar above Macao, and enjoy a panoramic scenic flight through the use of VR goggles and a robotic arm.
Other illuminations and interactive installations include ‘Space-time Hot Air Balloons’ spreading across the Nam Van Lake Nautical Centre, and ‘Wall of Times’, which will give an introduction about the transformation of culinary culture in Macao at the Taipa Houses, delivering the essence of creative gastronomy.
The Macao Light Festival will feature its first cultural and creative night market at Anim’Arte Nam Van, the local hub for culture, creativity and leisure.
In addition, an outdoor local concert will be staged on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, creating exchange opportunities in the field and showing Macao’s cultural and creative industries to visitors from around the world.
Visitors can download The Macao Light Festival 2018 mobile app for more information about the event, including route navigation, itineraries, and food coupons. There are also interactive elements including augmented reality functions, and the “Future Mailbox” interactive game. This app is available for free from the App Store or Google Play.
You can also obtain information about the Festival from MGTO’s official WeChat ID, or through the 2018 Macao Light Festival Facebook page, as well as MGTO’s website www.macaotourism.gov.mo.