Discover Macau Drenched in Colour at the Festival of Lights

The ‘Colour Wave Tree’ reflects the shades of Macau’s neon-clad casinos in the background
The ‘Colour Wave Tree’ reflects the shades of Macau’s neon-clad casinos in the background | Kyle Ford / © Culture Trip

If there is a perfect time to visit Macau, it’s during the city’s annual Light Festival, a great kick-starter to the festive season. The mild December weather is ideal for nighttime strolls along Macau’s cobblestone lanes as you take in the dazzling light artistry that illuminates the city’s unique East-meets-West character.

Detail at Macau Festival of Lights | Kyle Ford / © Culture Trip

With the theme of time travel, the Macau Light Festival 2018 leads spectators on an illuminating journey through time with three distinctive routes to explore: “Play Time”, “Youth Time” and “Taste Time”. Together the routes cover eleven locations across five districts. The various light installations, light projection mapping, interactive games and other activities enable you to learn about the city’s diverse culture and history as you gain a new appreciation for Macau by night.

Stroll along the city's cobblestone lanes as you take in the dazzling light artistry on display at the 2018 Macau Light Festival. | Kyle Ford / © Culture Trip
| Kyle Ford / © Culture Trip
Teams from Portugual, Belgium and Macau light up the iconic Ruins of St Paul's with captivating light projection mapping shows. | Kyle Ford / © Culture Trip

One of Macau’s most remarkable temples is Pak Tai Temple. Located in the heart of Taipa Village, it was built in 1844 to honour Pak Tai, the Taoist god of the sea. It’s one of the few temples in the city that has a worship pavilion where followers can put tributes and offerings. During this year’s light festival it’s the venue for a special light projection mapping show, Search for the Taste of Memory, that will open your eyes to local dining culture and habits in different decades. In addition, a Gastronomy Night Market occupies the square in front of the temple where visitors can feast on signature Macanese dishes.

The Pak Tai Temple is home to an installation tracing the evolution of local dining culture | Kyle Ford / © Culture Trip

Speaking of food, one of the light festival’s three themed routes this year, “Taste Time”, showcases the diverse cuisines of the city. Among the attractions is the addition of food trucks at three locations across the city. The public can complete designated activities in exchange for luminous drinks, cotton candy and other souvenirs.

In a new addition to this year's Macau Lights Festival, food trucks at three locations across the city will offer illuminated drinks and other souvenirs. | Kyle Ford / © Culture Trip

With 2018 coming to an end, pause for a reflective moment beside this striking Light Up 2018 installation that stands aglow with Macau’s casino strip twinkling away in the background. It’s the ideal spot to ponder your highs and lows of the year and gain a whole new appreciation of Macau by night.

Macau gets ready for 2019 | Kyle Ford / © Culture Trip

The Colour Wave Tree, a tree of colourful lights, reflects the many shades of Macau’s night sky lit up by the neon of the casinos in the background.

The Colour Wave Tree proves to be an alluring attraction for passers-by. | Kyle Ford / © Culture Trip

Over at Calçada da Igreja de São Lázaro, an area known for its beautiful Portuguese-style heritage buildings, you can capture a number of highly Instagrammable moments, including this fluorescent staircase – one of the festival’s most eye-catching light installations.

This fluorescent staircase is one of the festival's most eye-catching light displays. | Kyle Ford / © Culture Trip

This twinkling canopy of fairy lights at Macau’s main town square, Senado Square, gives it a fitting festive glow. The square is known for its Portuguese-style pastel buildings and wavy black and white cobblestone paving.

Macau's central town square, Senado Square, in full festive glow. | Kyle Ford / © Culture Trip
A photographer captures Macau's Senado Square illuminated at night by a dazzling canopy of fairy lights | Kyle Ford / © Culture Trip

The Macau Light Festival 2018 – Time Travel in Macau will be staged from 7pm to 10pm from 2 December to 31 December.

Inspired to visit Macau? Learn more at Macao Government Tourism.

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