Organized by the Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC, from the Portuguese acronym), the “2017 Macao International Parade”, celebrating the 18th Anniversary of Macao’s Handover to China, was held on Sunday, 17 December. This year, the Parade was themed “Features of Local Districts and Historic Monuments”, inviting both residents and tourists to take part in a feast of “Love, Peace and Cultural Integration”, celebrating the handover together. This year, it attracted over 150,000 spectators, including those who participated in the Parade, those who watched the live broadcast on television, and those who watched the live broadcast on outdoor screens at various districts. The Cultural Affairs Bureau launched the live broadcast on new media platforms for the first time, it attracted over 200,000 spectators who watched the live broadcast on the Internet, including the mobile and Weibo application of CCTV-NEWS, the Parade’s page on Facebook, TDM’s multimedia platform (including TDM’s website, mobile application, Facebook and Wechat), who celebrated the Handover together.
The opening ceremony was officiated by the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao S.A.R. Government, Alexis, Tam Chon Weng; the Assistant of the Deputy Director of the Department of Publicity and Culture of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Macao S.A.R., Shao Bin; the Deputy Director of the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China in the Macao SAR, Wang Tingting; the Chief of Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao S.A.R. Government, Ip Peng Kin; the Acting President of the Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Macao S.A.R. Government, Ieong Chi Kin; the Director of the Macao Government Tourism Office of the Macao S.A.R. Government, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes; the Deputy Director of the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau of the Macao S.A.R. Government, Lou Pak Sang; the Vice-President of the Sports Bureau of the Macao S.A.R. Government, Lau Cho Un; and the Deputy Commissioner of the Fire Services Bureau of the Macao S.A.R. Government, Chao Ka Cheong.
This year, the “Parade through Macau, Latin City” was renamed “Macao International Parade”, hoping the event will move towards internationalization, demonstrating the unique charm of Macao. Likewise, this year the Parade broke through the practice of the past editions by setting a new route, aiming at offering innovative elements and new perspectives to the participating groups, audience and residents. The Parade kicked off at 3pm with an extraordinary opening ceremony at the Ruins of St. Paul’s, and finally arrived at Sai Van Lake Square, where the participating groups took to the stage one by one. The closing performance then followed, celebrating the handover in a festive and carnival atmosphere. VIVA, a representation of Macao’s full potential, embarked on a fantastic journey again, revealing the wonderful moments of Macao’s history and present; meanwhile light beams emitted and crossed over the sky; the closing performance subsequently followed with snow particles falling and scattering all over the place like silver flowers that shone in the lights’ shadows; VIVA met different creatures during his trip spreading joy throughout the whole city. On stage, the dynamic lion dance performance with special effect was presented, followed by the spectacular performance by a number of the participating groups from different countries and regions, showcasing the internationalization of this year’s Parade; a spectacular laser light show consisting of nearly a hundred laser beams, accompanied the musical performances and dance, offering dazzling and joyful lighting effects and prompting the public’s enthusiasm and excitement. Finally, special balloons and dinosaur stilt-walkers performance brought a close interaction with the audience, spreading the joy and celebrating the handover together.
This years’ Parade comprised 49 local and 15 foreign participating groups over 1,300 participants. On the day of the Parade, participating groups were diligent in the performance to compete for awards, namely the “Most Outstanding Theme Award”, the “Most Amazing Costume Award”, the “Most Creative Award”, the “Most Energetic Award”, the “Our Parade King Award” and the “Our Parade Queen Award”, showcasing a creativity without limits.
The Parade also featured a series of activities celebrating the handover with joy. The Parade launched the contest “Participate together in the Parade and enter a chance to win plane tickets for two people” in its page on Facebook, and the promotional game “MOMEplay Prizes” through its official WeChat account, which were well received by the public and attracted over 60,000 participants. The organizer continued to hold a photography contest, inviting residents to participate and capture the event’s highlights.
The Parade is one of the major events in celebration of Macao’s Handover to China and it has already become one of the city’s trademark festive events since its first edition in 2011. The popular Hong Kong TVB programme ‘Scoop’ will feature an introduction foretaste of the event on 21 December, as well as a Parade Special Programme dedicated to the event’s highlights on 23 December.
The Parade is organized by the Cultural Affairs Bureau and co-organized by the Macao Government Tourism Office, the Sports Bureau, the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau, the Public Security Police Force, the Transport Bureau, the Fire Services Bureau and the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau of Macao. TDM - Teledifusão de Macau S.A. is the designated live television broadcaster and CTM - Macau Telecom Company, Ltd. is the telecom partner. The Parade is fully supported by Air Macau Co, Ltd., Companhia de Electricidade de Macau – CEM, S.A., Macau Tower Convention & Entertainment Centre, Coca-Cola Macau Limited and AJ Hackett. The Cultural Affairs Bureau also receives the support from the Macao General Union of Neighbourhood Associations as well as from the VIVA Ambassadors supporters, namely the Bank of China Macau Branch Volunteers Association, the Macao Community Youth Volunteers Development Association, the General Volunteers Association of Macao, The Boys’ Brigade, Macau, The Scouts Association of Macau and the Association of Volunteers Social Service Macao.