24th Lusofonia Festival inaugurated presenting the charm of lusophone cultures from 10 to 12 December

Organized by the Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC) and co-organized by the Macao Government Tourism Office and the Municipal Affairs Bureau, the 24th Lusofonia Festival is be held from 10 to 12 December, at the Taipa Houses, presenting the lusophone cultures to the public. The Festival offers a diversified programme of activities, including music and dance performances, booths, gastronomy and games, allowing residents and tourists to experience the Portuguese customs and feel the Festival’s cheerful atmosphere.

The opening ceremony of the 24th Lusofonia Festival was held on 10 December, at the Taipa Houses Amphitheatre, and was officiated by the the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Ao Ieong U; the Deputy Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Macao SAR, Yan Zhichan; the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Macao SAR, Liu Xianfa; the Consul-General of Portugal in Macao, Paulo Cunha Alves; the Consul-General of Mozambique in the Macao SAR, Rafael Custódio Marques; the Consul-General of the Republic of Angola in the Macao SAR, Eduardo Velasco Galiano; the President of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Mok Ian Ian; the Director of the Macao Government Tourism Office, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes; the Acting President of the Administration Committee on Municipal Affairs of the Municipal Affairs Bureau, O Lam; the Deputy Secretary-General of the Permanent Secretariat of Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries (Macao), Paulo Jorge Rodrigues do Espírito Santo; the Vice Chairman of Galaxy Entertainment Group, Francis Lui; the President of Sociedade de Artes Bambú, Limitada, Carlos Marreiros; and  the Director of the Institute for Social and Cultural Research of the Macau University of Science and Technology, Lin Guangzhi; and was attended by the Chief of Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government, Ho Ioc San; the Deputy Director of the Department of Publicity and Culture of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Macao SAR, Yin Rutao; the Vice President of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Leong Wai Man; and representatives of various cooperative entities.

The first edition of the Lusofonia Festival was held in June 1998, aiming at honouring the Portuguese-speaking communities of Macao for their contribution to Macao’s development. Over the years the Festival has become an important event aiming at sharing the culture of the Portuguese-speaking communities, showcasing Macao’s role as a platform of cultural exchange between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries.

The programme of this edition of the Festival is as diversified as in previous years. Different booths of Macao Portuguese-speaking communities from ten countries or regions, namely Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Goa, Daman and Diu, Mozambique, Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe, East Timor and the Macanese community, will be set up, introducing their countries or regions’ traditional music, images, arts and crafts, costumes, literature and gastronomy.

Around 30 local Portuguese-speaking performing groups and the Dongguan Kylin Dance Group from Guangdong Province will perform different styles of music and dance on the main stage of the Festival and soft music will be showcased on the stage installed in Carmo Square. In addition, the Cultural Affairs Bureau will set up booths for the public to take photos, play games with prizes and purchase IC’s publications at special discounts. Participants of the games may win a limited edition of the 100th Anniversary of Taipa Houses shaped three-dimensional memo pads or other souvenirs. The public is welcome to visit and purchase their favourite books.

Furthermore, visitors of all ages can participate in traditional Portuguese games, including wooden ski run, tug of war and others which will be held at the Carmo Square during the afternoon of Saturday and Sunday. Winners will be awarded bottles of wine, codfish, canned sardines and Portuguese chorizo. There will be table football tournaments with teams consisting of two participants of two different categories, 16 years old and above and under 15 years old. Interested in participating can enrol until 4:30pm on Saturday. During the afternoon of Saturday and Sunday, there will be a recreational space for children featuring various games, workshops and a puppet show. The temporary "Radio Carmo" station will be installed on site broadcasting lusophone music throughout the Festival, enhancing the festive atmosphere.

In addition, a temporary restaurant will be set up serving Portuguese dishes at lunch and dinner in the Taipa Municipal Garden, and specialties of various Portuguese-speaking countries regions at dinner in Carmo Square. A kiosk serving typical Portuguese snacks and drinks can be found next to the entrance to the Taipa Houses. Eating and drinking is restricted in the dining area, and participants must strictly comply with the epidemic prevention guidelines.

This three-day Festival offers cultural displays from the local Lusophone communities, music and dance shows, games for participants of all ages and typical cuisine, allowing visitors to socialize in a festive atmosphere and experience the vitality of the Portuguese-speaking countries people. The Cultural Institute intends to promote Macau and bring vitality to the community through this Festival and the set of artistic and cultural activities carried out in conjunction with various sports and tourist events.

The Cultural Affairs Bureau will strictly follow the relevant epidemic prevention guidelines of the Health Bureau and make proper arrangements for art and cultural activities. Participants must wear their own face masks, will have their body temperature measured, and need to show their health code of the day and cooperate with the measures of people control.

For more information, please visit the “Encounter in Macao – Arts and Cultural Festival Between China and Portuguese-Speaking Countries” at www.icm.gov.mo/FCP, “IC Art” page on Facebook and its WeChat account “IC_Art_Macao ”.