Creating yet another splash in Macao this year is the annual International Dragon Boat Festival and a series of action-packed races and events that will have onlookers on the edge of their seats.
With thousands of supporters converging on the shores of Nam Van Lake, the highly-charged festival – to be held on May 27, 28 and 30 – attracts teams from around the globe, including Australia, to compete for the coveted trophies.
However, despite the dragon boat festival's widespread appeal, it is only one of a number of exciting - and vibrant - festivals and events to fill the Macao calendar which, for 2017, includes:
- A- Ma Festival (April 19), where locals pay homage to Macao's most popular deity, the Goddess of Seafarers, from whom Macao is said to derive its name.
- 28th Macao Arts Festival (April 28 to May 31) Organised by the Cultural Affairs Bureau, this year's festival carries the theme “Heterotopia” through texts, stories, images, music and imagery and makes up 25 shows and exhibitions, which, combined with the overall program, total more than 100 activities,
- 29th Macao International Fireworks Display Contest (September to October) Universally acclaimed as one of the best of its kind, the contest takes place on the shorefront of the Macau Tower each weekend from September to October with 16 teams from around the world competing.
- 17th Macau Food Festival (November 10-26) With the 338-metre-high Macau Tower as a backdrop, 120 local restaurants merge with 26 invited food and beverage merchants to put on this special food festival near Sai Van Lake.
- 64th Macau Grand Prix (November 16-19), a long-standing street motor racing event referred to as the proving ground of new legends. The Formula 3 challenge from the carnival is internationally recognised as the longest running event of its kind and most prestigious on the local calendar.
- Parade through Macao, Latin City (December 3) Marks the anniversary of Macao's Handover to China and highlights Macao's cultural features. Prepare for artists to present dazzlingly colourful performances, bringing the celebration to a vivid climax.
- 36th Macau International Marathon (December 3) Held on the same day as the parade, runners from around the world pound the streets of Macao. For those less physically inclined, there's a half marathon and mini event.
- Macao Light Festival (Dec 3-31) Like Sydney's Vivid, this festival brings to life small squares and major historic buildings through neon lights and colourful 3D mapping.
- International Film Festival and Awards (December) Macao will roll out the red carpet and reach for the stars at its second annual AFFAM, screening films from Asia and beyond in Europe and South America.
Details: Macao Government Tourism Office: www.macaotourism.gov.mo