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The whole atmosphere is vibrant with party mood in Macau at Chinese New Year. Thousands of people come to enjoy the fireworks and New Year entertainments.
On February 16, 2018, the world's biggest gambling resort area in terms of money spent and one of the world's top 20 or so tourist destinations, Macau (Àomén 澳門 /aow-mnn/), will have its annual Chinese New Year celebration. There are fireworks display near the sea and a parade past the old Portuguese government buildings.
Macau is a former Portuguese colony and is sort of the twin of Hong Kong about 37 miles away. There are some of the world's ritziest casinos, colonial architecture, and more of a relaxed Mediterranean feel.
For the fireworks display near the Macau Tower at 9:45 in the evening, the best places to watch are near the tower itself or along the Taipa shore.
The Macau Tower is the world's 20th tallest tower (2018) and is a Macau attraction in itself. People enjoy the revolving restaurant, the fine evening views, and shopping inside. So you might consider having dinner there before the fireworks show.
This is the biggest Chinese New Year's parade in Macau at Senado Square. There are a score of dancing lions, a 200 meter long winding dragon, and decorated floats. The square is noted for its beauty and the historic Portuguese buildings, and it's all lit up for the celebrations.
The parade goes through the historic district from Senado Square to Lilau Square, A-Ma Temple, and Sai Van Lake Square. About 25 buildings in the area are listed as UNESCO World Heritage.
The flower market is a place for seasonal gifts. Crowds buy fresh flowers starting a few days before February 16 and are especially heavy on the evening of February 15 since people love to decorate with fresh flowers and give fresh flowers as gifts.
Each kind of flower and each color holds a special significance in Macau's culture. You can also shop for souvenirs and eat. See Hong Kong and Macau Chinese New Year's Eve Flower Market 2018.
You could also go to Hong Kong for their festivities with an hour's ferry ride, and see the Spring Fest extravaganzas. Be aware, this is an extremely busy travel time, so getting a ferry ticket may be difficult. If you can afford it, you could take a helicopter ride.
On New Year's Day (February 16, 2018), there is a big international parade in Tsim Sha Shui. On the second day, February 17, you could watch the fireworks over Victoria Harbor with choreographed building lighting and lasers. The buildings seem to dance.
High season: The Spring Festival is by far the biggest travel period in China. Macau has become a popular destination for mainland Chinese in the last few years. Expect hotels, the main attractions such as Senado Square, and ferries to be crowded. For lower prices and more convenience, it might be better to visit at another time.
Public holidays: The 16th (Friday) through the 18th of February are legal holidays in Macau. The 16th through the 19th (Monday) are Hong Kong public holidays.
Macau visas: The territory's visa policies are more restrictive than those of Hong Kong. Read more about Macau visas.
Let us tailor-make Macau trip. Tell us what you want to do and see in Macau and China, and we'll design a bespoke tour for you. Or start from one of these itineraries.