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Festivals in Macau

Macau International Fireworks Display Contest
This year, on several November evenings, competitors from Asian and non-Asian countries will take turns dazzling massive crowds that gather along the shorelines of Macau and Taipa to watch the spectacle over the Praia Grande Bay. Participants in the competition use less than a half an hour to present fireworks that make shapes of flowers or dragons in the sky, or explode in successive leaps upward. Sometimes it appears as if the rockets might be headed right for the audience, but suddenly a burst of color cascades to the water, while viewers breathe a sigh of relief mixed with a tingle of awe.

Macau International Music Festival
Each year hundreds of talented musicians and vocalists from around the world travel to Macau to give delightful performances in the many diverse locations throughout the city as part of the annual Macau International Music Festival. Audiences may swing and sway to the rhythms of jazz saxophones expertly played in one of the two auditoria at the spacious Macau Cultural Centre.
During the Macau International Music Festival venues also are presented outdoors at lovely garden and park locations. An orchestra might be accompanied by a visual artist who adds even more texture to an already rich experience. The creative possibilities are endless in this ever expansive celebration of classical and modern music. Expressing the cultural mix present here in Macau, while also appreciating the many musical styles evident across the globe, this festival showcases Chinese and Western orchestras, quartets and individual artists engaging in recitals and concerts. The performance of an opera has traditionally been the culmination of this vast display of musical prowess.

Feast of the Drunken Dragon  
This is probably the most unusual festival of Macau. It is traced back to the Kangxi Kingdom of the Qing Dynasty. In an effort to be rid of a terrible plague that decimated their population, villagers were carrying a statue of the Buddha and praying intently when a giant python leaped out of the river onto the bank, blocking their path. Quickly a Buddhist monk sliced the monster into three pieces which were then thrown back into the river.
A huge wind and thunder stormed as the pieces writhed about, then they flew up into the sky. Later the villagers recovered from the plague. The soil where the creature's blood was spilled became quite fertile. The villagers believed that they had been saved by a divine dragon, so they carved its image. Each year during the annual Feast of the Bathing of the Lord Buddha they drank with fervor and danced with the dragon.

The fishermen associations of Macau organize this festival, which starts in the morning at the Kuan Tai Temple near S. Domingos Market (near Senado Square). Men wearing red bandanas and shirts with significant Chinese characters painted on their chests, carry portions of the dragon - the heads and tails - while performing their dance. They pause to drink from these vessels, often helped by a fellow dancer, since the more they drink the harder it is to drink!
The group dances along narrow streets toward the Inner Harbour, where they stop at various shops and piers at the waterfront to give special hopes and blessings for thriving business and good health to those shopkeepers. Throughout their journey, each time they pause, all dancers drink again. For some it becomes a challenging course to follow. When the long day of dancing with the dragon is completed, everyone joins in a huge feast which has been prepared by non-dancers during the course of the day.

Procession of the Passion of Our Lord, the God Jesus
Christians in Macau participate in a solemn procession through the streets in a re-enactment of when Jesus carried the cross to his crucifixion. Starting at St. Augustine's Church, an image of Christ carrying the Cross is carried in procession to the Cathedral. The image is left there during an overnight vigil. Then the next day several devotees dressed in purple robes carry the image on a platform back to St. Augustine's Church. Along the journey they pause for the stations of the cross, designating the tragic events which took place from the condemnation of Christ to the placing of his body into his tomb after his death on the Cross.

Macau International Film Festival
After Macau International Film Festival made a great success on Dec 26, 2009, the Macau government decided to held the festival anually.  Its aim focuses on finding the world's best movies, encouraging diverse types of movie development and promoting the animation industry development.

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