Organized by the Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC, from the Portuguese acronym), the “2018 Macao International Parade”, celebrating the 19th Anniversary of Macao’s handover to China, will be held on Sunday, 16 December. Based on the concept of cultural encounter between China and Portuguese-speaking countries and associated with the classic myths and folklore of China and the Portuguese-speaking countries, the Parade presents a culturally rich Handover celebration, highlighting Macao’s unique position as an important hub between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries.
The opening ceremony of the “VIVA Mission: Unveil Secret Order” was held on 22 November and was attended by the President of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Mok Ian Ian; the Vice President of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Leong Wai Man; the Deputy Commissioner of the Fire Services Bureau, Chao Ka Cheong; the Head of Tourism Product and Events Department of the Macao Government Tourism Office, Jennifer Si Tou; the Head of Sports Facilities Management Department of the Sports Bureau, Ho Wa; the Acting Head of the Department of Youth of the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau, Cheong Man Fai; the Head of Division for Support and Collaboration of Associations of the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau, Au Chan Weng; the Head of the Coordination Division of the Traffic Bureau, Mok Soi Tou; the Commissioner of the Department of Operations of the Public Security Police Force, Cheong Sio Iam; the Manager of Production Department of TDM, Ltd., Leong Chon Wa; the General Manager of Public Relations Division of Air Macau Company Limited, Zhao Hong; and the Group Marketing Director of Coca-Cola Macau Limited, Sonia Vong.
Classic mythology and folklore gathered, highlighting Macao as Cultural Exchange Centre between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries
The “Macao International Parade”, now in its eighth edition, is one of the major events celebrating Macao’s Handover to China. In tandem with the Arts and Cultural Festival between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, and the Lusofonia Festival, among others, this year’s Parade is aimed at introducing a new cultural collaboration between China and Portuguese-speaking countries. Under the theme “VIVA Mission: Unveil Secret Order”, the Parade’s mascot VIVA received a secret order to gather folklore. VIVA met totems and mascots which embody the cultural origins and essence of China, Macao and eight Portuguese-speaking countries. With the magical power gained from ancient myths and folklore, VIVA calls for a feast of “Love, Peace and Cultural Integration” in celebration of the handover.
Outstanding art groups gather expanding the scale of the event
This year the Parade features 76 groups and a total of over 1,700 participants, including 57 local groups which present original performances closely associated with the theme and showcase their own artistic characteristics; and 19 groups from Mainland China, France, Spain, Russia, Columbia, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Argentina, Japan, Malaysia, Korea, Hong Kong and Portuguese-speaking countries such as Portugal, Brazil, Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique.
Seeking to expand its scale and extend its reach further into the local community, the Parade holds a total of 24 outreach performances. Foreign art groups were invited to host community workshops and to offer performances in campuses from late November, increasing the cultural exchanges with foreign artists and creating a festive atmosphere in the community. A series of promotional activities will be launched from 1 December for two consecutive weeks. In order to encourage local art groups to showcase their creativity, the Parade also features numerous prizes. Residents can vote for their favourite participating group. A photography contest, games with prizes and other creative activities will also be launched.
Strolling from the Ruins of St. Paul’s to Sai Van Lake Square and ending with fireworks at the Macao Tower
The Parade adopts the same route as last year and will kick off with an extraordinary opening ceremony to be held at the Ruins of St. Paul’s on 16 December, at 3pm, after which the local and foreign participating groups will pass through Rua de S. Paulo, Senado Square, Cathedral Square, and Avenida da Praia Grande, offering excellent performances at Avenida Panorâmica do Lago Nam Van. Finally, the participating groups will arrive at the Sai Van Lake Square at 6:30pm to take part in the Handover Celebration. Huge balloons of various mythological and folklore figures will appear in the sky, while spectacular fireworks will be set up at the Macao Tower.
The Parade has become one of the city’s trademark events since its first edition in 2011. The event 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, supported by the Macao General Union of Neighbourhood Associations and Air Macau Co., Ltd. TDM - Teledifusão de Macau S.A. is the designated live television broadcaster, and Macau Coca-Cola Beverage Co., Ltd. is the designated beverage company. The Cultural Affairs Bureau also receives the support from the Galaxy Entertainment Group., MGM MACAU, AJ Hackett, TurboJET, Macau Tower Convention & Entertainment Centre, Grand Lisboa Hotel, Macau Cruise, New Yaohan, Macau Yeng Kee Bakery and Tealosophy Tea Bar.
In order to allow more audience to enjoy the festive event, TDM - Teledifusão de Macau, S.A. will broadcast the entire event live and outdoor screens will be installed at several locations –Iao Hon Garden, Rotunda Carlos da Maia, Rua de D. Belchior Carneiro and next to Flower City Garden on Rua de Coimbra, Taipa. The popular Hong Kong TVB programme ‘Scoop’ will feature a foretaste of the event on 14 and 20 December, as well as a Parade Special Programme dedicated to the event’s highlights on 22 December. On the day of Parade, crowd control measures will be implemented and some streets will be temporarily closed to traffic. The public is thus advised to walk to the Parade venues on foot or use public transportation. For more information about the Parade, please visit www.icm.gov.mo/macaoparade or follow “Macao International Parade” page on Facebook and IC’s WeChat account “ICMacao”.