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Macau - Facts for the traveller, when to go, events

Facts for the traveller for Macau


When to Go to Macau

The best time to visit Macau is autumn (October-December), when there's less humidity, more sunshine and December's Winter Solstice to celebrate. Spring (March-May) isn't a bad time to visit either, but the worst time to go would have to be on a cold and drizzly winter's day in January or during a humid 30°C (85°F) downpour in June.

Sub-tropical Macau shimmers in a humid hot haze from June to September, with monsoonal thundery downpours and the chance of being caught in a tropical typhoon. Winters are reasonably chilly and often drizzly affairs, so don't come to Macau dressed in shorts and a t-shirt if you're visiting December-March. Hotel rooms are hardest to find at weekends, on Hong Kong public holidays, Chinese New Year (late January/early February) and during the Macau Grand Prix in November.

Macau Events

Macau has lost some of its Portuguese-flavoured celebrations and gained a few Chinese ones - goodbye Portuguese Revolution Day, hello National China Day. Chinese New Year is a particularly deafening favourite, and February's celebrations continue with the fun-filled Lantern Festival. The Pou Tai Un Temple on Taipa Island is the place to be in February for the Feast of the Earth god Tou Tei. Some Catholic festivals have been retained, including the 400-year-old Procession of Our Lord of Passion, which travels from São Agostinho to Macau Cathedral in March. Macau's A-Ma Temple comes alive with festive worshippers during the A-Ma Festival (akin to Hong Kong's Tin Hau Festival) - the temple honours the Goddess of Seafarers for whom Macau is named. For dancing dragons and sparkling-clean Buddhas, head to Macau in May for the Feast of the Drunken Dragon and Feast of the Bathing of Lord Buddha; the Taoist deity Tam Kong is also honoured on this day of festivals by Macau's fishing community, particularly in Coloane Village. The Miracle of Fatima is celebrated on 13 May with a procession from São Domingos to Our Lady of Penha. June's spectacular Dragon Boat Festival is held on Nam Van Lakes to the accompaniment of drums. Hungry Ghosts' Festival, in late August/early September, marks the start of a two-week period. There's an international fireworks festival in September and October, and racing drivers take to the streets in November during the Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix. Festivities come to an end with Winter Solstice feasting in December.

Public Holidays:
January 1 - New Year's Day
late January/early February - Chinese New Year
March/April - Easter
Early April - Ching Ming
April/May - Buddha's Birthday
May 1 - Labour Day
June - Dragon Boat Festival
October 1 & 2 - China National Day
Mid/Late October - Chung Yeung Festival of Ancestors
November 2 - All Souls' Day
December 8 - Feast of the Immaculate Conception
December 20 - Macau Special Administrative Region Establishment Day
December 22 - Winter Solstice
December 24 & 25 - Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

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