MGTO presents joyful celebrations to welcome the Year of Monkey

Five Tourism Ambassadors in new outfits

Festive joy livens up the city as the Year of Monkey arrives. Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) sincerely wishes Macao citizens and visitors a wonderful New Year ahead filled with happiness, peace and good health. MGTO also wishes Macao tourism industry will march toward healthy, diversified and sustainable development, and Macao can achieve its goal to become a “World Centre of Tourism and Leisure”. Chinese New Year is an important traditional festival in Chinese culture. MGTO has gladly prepared a colorful range of festive celebrations for visitors and residents to enjoy in different local districts including “Parade of Gigantic Golden Dragon”, "Parade for Celebration of the Year of the Monkey", “Valentine's Day Fantasia 2016 – The Fairytale of Lights” and “Macao Hunt” WeChat game, promising a festive season filled with memorable moments. MGTO joined hands with Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau and Cultural Affairs Bureau to present Spring Festival celebrations together at the Ruins of St. Paul’s and Senado Square on the first day of Lunar New Year (8 February), sharing the joy of Chinese New Year with local citizens and visitors. Last year Macao welcomed over 30 million visitors. During Spring Festival holidays, a great number of visitors are expected to enjoy their vacation in Macao from the Mainland and neighboring regions. Visitors of different nationalities also choose to visit Macao during this time of the year to experience the ambience of Chinese Spring festival. MGTO takes the opportunity to express New Year wishes to local citizens and visitors, to show warm hospitality of the destination. Chief of Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Ip Peng Kin; MGTO Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes; President of Cultural Affairs Bureau, Ung Vai Meng; Member of Administration Committee of Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau, Isabel Celeste Jorge; MGTO Deputy Directors Cecilia Tse and Cheng Wai Tong officiated the eye-dotting ceremony for the golden dragon and dancing lions along with local trade representatives and other guests at the Ruins of St. Paul’s, and ignited firecrackers together at Senado Square to kick off the celebrations on the first morning of Lunar New Year. Following that, the guests joined the God of Fortune to distribute “Lai Si” and souvenirs to local residents and visitors at Senado Square, filling the area with joyful blessings. “Lai Si” given by the God of Fortune conveys the best wishes to Macao for a flourishing and prosperous year ahead. A 238-meter-long golden dragon led a parade across major tourist spots and demonstrated vigorous moves accompanied by vibrant young lions. Their lively performance bestows wishes that Macao will encounter myriad opportunities and achieve remarkable developments in the Year of Monkey. The Chinese zodiac animal “Monkey” symbolizes wisdom and auspiciousness, inspiring Macao residents to embrace new challenges with wisdom and creativity, and work together for a brighter future of Macao. MGTO keeps the tradition to distribute “Lai Si” to visitors during Lunar New Year. Starting on the first day of Lunar New Year, MGTO’s Tourist Information counters distribute “Lai Si” containing phrases of New Year blessings while stock lasts. Each “Lai Si” contains 10 cents for auspicious wishes. Dressed up in new outfits with Chinese and Portuguese traditional style, the five Tourism Ambassadors appear and wish local residents and visitors from around the world a Happy Chinese New Year. As another highlight, the eight performance groups for the "Parade for Celebration of the Year of the Monkey" from different countries and regions are giving performance in advance at various tourist spots on the first and second day of Lunar New Year. Among them, the performance groups from Japan, Portugal, Thailand and Hong Kong performed at Rua do Cunha and the Taipa Houses-Museum on Taipa, Largo Eduardo Marques (in front of Chapel of St. Francis Xavier on Coloane) and Iao Hon Market Garden on Macao Peninsula respectively on the first day of Lunar New Year. The groups from the United States, Malaysia, Spain and Korea will perform at the Ruins of St. Paul’s, Senado Square, A-Ma Temple on Macao Peninsula and Rua do Cunha on Taipa on the second day of Lunar New Year. Each round of performance lasts for 15 to 30 minutes. MGTO rolls out an array of activities during Lunar New Year. Citizens and visitors are welcome to browse MGTO’s website for the program: Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) is also presenting the grand outdoor celebration event for Chinese New Year, known as the "Parade for Celebration of the Year of the Monkey", on the third day (10 February) and sixth day (13 February) of Lunar New Year. This year, the whole Parade will revolve around a story about the Monkey King, a famous character in a Chinese classical novel. A multimedia opening show will also kick off the Parade for the first time, promising an extravaganza of light and 3D effects. Similar to last year’s show, famous Hong Kong singers and celebrity hosts are invited to dazzle the Parade. A fireworks show is scheduled to take place on the third night of Lunar New Year, to wish local citizens and visitors a fantastic beginning in the Year of Monkey. Besides the dazzling float parade, MGTO also rolls out a prize-redemption game named “Macao Hunt” on WeChat from 1 to 28 February, guiding local residents and visitors to look out for golden monkeys along four designated walking tour routes under the theme “Step Out, Experience Macao’s Communities”, for a chance to win electronic coupons from merchants and enter a lucky draw. Additional locations of golden monkeys are also set up near each spectator seating area of the Parade on the 3rd night of Lunar New Year With Valentine’s Day falling on the period of Chinese New Year this year, MGTO specially presents “Valentine's Day Fantasia 2016 – The Fairytale of Lights” at the Taipa Houses-Museum area and numerous attractions nearby in Taipa from 7 – 29 February, offering a fascinating choice of leisure and entertainment for local residents and visitors. Coming into spotlight from 12 to 22 February, the 3D mapping show themed as “Cinderella’s Glass Slipper” will kindle a romantic vibe and let the warm ambience go on throughout this festive season. The Office will arrange staff to provide guidance and tourism information for visitors at ten major tourist attractions between the first and seventh day of Lunar New Year (8 – 14 February) while assisting in diverting visitors off the crowded areas. For local dining, visitors can find award-winning restaurants and eateries listed in the publication “Star Merchant Award" – Restaurants and Eateries Guide. MGTO has also published the "Macao Food Guide during Spring Festival" (Chinese version only) together with the United Association of Food and Beverage Merchants of Macau, the Industry and Commerce Association of Macau Northern District, General Union of the Macau Neighborhood Association as well as the Industry and Commerce Federation of Islands of Macau. Offering a contact list of restaurants and eateries open during Chinese New Year, the handy food guide familiarizes visitors with operation information of relevant restaurants in Macao. During Lunar New Year, MGTO's Tourism Hotline 2833 3000 maintains its 24-hour operator service to answer visitor enquiries: This press release is available at:

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