Macao Local Customs

  • The year of the horse 2014.
    The year of the horse 2014.
    by IreneMcKay
  • The year of the horse 2014.
    The year of the horse 2014.
    by IreneMcKay
  • The year of the horse 2014.
    The year of the horse 2014.
    by IreneMcKay

Macao Local Customs

  • Christmas in Macau

    With its Portuguese heritage, A good portion of Macua is Christian and hence Christmas is widely celebrated

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  • A world of Smoke

    In some Portuguese churches (and mainly in Fatima) we are used to the continuous views of wax burning, with the resultant smell and smoke. In Chinese temples they "exaggerate". The smoke is permanent and abundant, with mixed smells, but always turning the air hard to breed. In A Ma temple the rule is followed, but most of the smoke is produced in...

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  • Gambling

    In my university time I shared one students' residential with colleges from overseas, some of them from Macao. I was surprised by the coincidence that they all were gambling fanatics. Later on I read that it was a Chinese tradition, and Macao is a remarkable confirmation. Casinos grow like mushrooms, but I don't know how many Chinese, with all...

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  • Portuguese Folk Dance

    Just outside the tourist office in NAPE next to the golden Lotus statute are daily folk performances of Portuguese dance.

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  • Taste of Macau

    I was lucky enough to be here during this festival which features the best restaurants in Macau all lined up in dozens of booths.

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  • Egg Tart

    No trip to Macau is complete without tasting this savory pastry. Its delicious. Good thing there is a branch of Lord Stow's in the Philippines.

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  • Dong1 zhi4 Festival (Winter Solstice...

    This festival is one of the most important Chinese festivals and is celebrated on or around December 22 (in 2007 it was on December 22). And this is exactly the time when sunshine is weakest and daylight shortest (it actually marks the first day of the Dong1 zhi4 solar term). The Dong1 zhi4 Festival is also a time for the family to get together, it...

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  • Double Ninth Festival (Chong2 Yang2...

    The 9th day of the 9th month (October 20th, 2007) in the lunar calendar (also called the chrysanthemum month because it starts blooming and the best chrysanthemum wine is made from the 9th month’s flowers) is a double Yang day, hence the name Chong Yang Festival or Double Ninth Festival (in Chinese Chong means “repeat” or “double”). This festival...

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  • Footgear at the door, please!

    Chinese people have a bunch of good hygienic habits that western people should learn from.When you are invited to visit a Chinese family you should know that before walking in you should take off your footgear. They know that in your country you can roam around the whole house with the same foot apparel that you outside and might have stepped on a...

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  • Chinese red envelopes

    The Chinese red envelopes are called hong2 bao1 in Mandarin and are popular gifts for any occasion. They symbolize luck and wealth. In western countries people use presents to mark the occasion, in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau most of the time red envelopes (with money inside, of course) are used. When offering a red envelope to somebody it...

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  • National Day

    In Tian’anmen Square, October 1st of the year of 1949 at three o’clock in the afternoon, Chairman Mao Ze Dong declared the founding of the People's Republic of China and the red five-star flag was raised for the first time.Today, October 1st of 2007, mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau celebrate its 58th anniversary with several activities,...

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  • Moon cakes for the Mid-Autumn Festival

    The Mid-Autumn Festival was originally a harvest festival and on this day people used to eat all kinds of fruits and round moon cakes. Nowadays the tradition is still well alive. People gather together with family members and friends (this year of 2007 it was in September 25th) at dinner time and then later go out and watch the moon, eat fruits and...

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  • Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

    The Mid-Autumn Festival is a traditional festival celebrated in the Chinese World, no matter in which country, on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month. In the Western calendar it usually occurs between the 2nd week of September and the 2nd week of October (in 2007 it was in September 25th but in 2008 it will be in September 14th).On this day the...

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  • Slower and easier lifestyle

    Compared with bustling Hong Kong, life in Macau is a little bit slower and easier.Perhaps because Macau was under Portuguese rule for four centuries. The slower Iberian lifestyle compared to British urgency created a contrast.Though there are now more newer buildings, this "older" photo with a Portuguese flag shows part of Macau with tree lined...

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  • Macau Currency - Macanese Pataca (MOP)

    Pataca is "peso" in Portuguese. Macau was a Portuguese Colony.Exchange is: 1 USD = 8.03 Macanese Pataca (pegged to HK Dollar)100 avos = 1 Macanese PatacaCoins: 10, 20, 50 avos MOP$1, MOP$2, MOP$5, MOP$10 Banknotes:MOP$10, MOP$20, MOP$50, MOP$100, MOP$500, MOP$1000

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  • Road Names

    It's always good to have the name of a place or road name jotted down in chinese as well. There would be locals who do not know the name of the place in portuguese.

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  • Portugese, Chinese, or English?

    Due to its cosmopolitan past and its recent development as a tourist destination, it's not surprising to hear a variety of different languages spoken in Macau. As a Spanish speaker who has difficulties reading Chinese, I found it refreshing that the I could at least understand the meaning of the street signs, all still labelled in Portugese. Many...

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  • Street Signs

    Quite interesting are the street signs all over Macau. They are in Portuguese style, blue letters over white tiles, and names are written in both Portuguese and Chinese.This is even more interesting for the one who already has been to Northeastern Brazil, where one may find the street signs in exactly the same style, due to the Portuguese...

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  • Small shrines

    Small Buddhist shrines can be found almost everywhere in Macau. They can pass almost unnoticed to the normal tourist seeking the main attractions, but they are easily “discovered” on the streets or inside buildings if you pay little bit more attention.Here on some street.

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  • Chopsticks Etiquettes

    Never ever stick your chopsticks straight up in your bowl of rice. Not only it's rude, chopsticks stuck straight up in a bowl of rice also resembles jossticks in an urn which is only meant for funerals. Never ever do this during a banquet or during a hosted meal.Also, never use a chopstick to point at something, most least a person. Very rude.

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  • Never buy clocks as gifts for Chinese...

    You should never buy clocks as gifts for Chinese friends (unless they do not mind). Many older folks still frown at that as the Chinese words for "sending clocks" sound almost the same as "sending you to your grave". So, if you are intending to buy a gift for a Chinese friend, clocks should never be a consideration! On the other hand, watches are...

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  • All wrap up to go

    If you intend to buy the food for a takeaway, the instruction is "Wai Mai" (To sell externally). Folks in Southeast Asia is so used to the term "Da Bao" (which means packet-up to go) that we tend to use the same term in Macau. Unfortunately, in Macau (as in Hong Kong), "Da Bao" means wrapping up the dead, which earned me quite a few dirty looks on...

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  • Money Matters

    The currency in Macau is the 'pacata'. It's written as M$, MOP$ or ptcs. The pacata is divided into avos with 10 avos to the pacata. However, Hong Kong currency is very widely used in Macau. I used it all the time and always received any change in HK$.

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  • language

    people in Macao speak cantonese like people in hong kong, but of course, they could speak some Portugese. just relax there and follow what the instruction is written on the wall inside/ outside the building.

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  • Ask For Directions

    Wandering around the backstreets between the square and St Pauls ruins, its easy to get lost. Don't be afraid to ask shop owners for directions, they are very helpful and friendly.

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  • "Bird-cage walking"

    In Macao - and generally in China -, local people take their bird for an outing in the fresh air, not their dog. So it's not surprising to see people chatting or excercising in a park, with their birds hanging in cages from the trees.

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  • Two cultures

    What makes Macau so special is the unique mixture of Portugese and Chinese culture!Portuguese and Chinese are the official languages of Macau. Cantonese is naturally the dominant speaking Chinese dialect, but Mandarin is also widely spoken. English is spoken by the trade, commerce and tourist services.

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  • For someone who's not from...

    For someone who's not from Asia there are some things one should know.When paying something cash,one must old the note with both hands and give it to the other person.The same way,when someone gives a presentation card,receive it with both hands and do read it for a while.It shws respect for the person.

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  • Weather

    The climate is moderate to hot, with an average annual temperature of just over 20°C (68°F) and a yearly mean variation between 16°C (50°F) and 25°C (77°F). The best season is autumn (October-December) when days are sunny and warm and the humidity is low. The winter (January-March) is cold but sunny. May to September the climate is hot and humid...

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  • Tipping

    Tipping in Macau is very important. Waiters and waitresses will expect around ten percent of the bill. Even when there is a service charge already included it is still customary to leave a small amount. Taxi drivers tend to mark up the fare to the nearest Pataca and if not, will appreciate a little extra.

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  • Surprisingly, I found hardly...

    Surprisingly, I found hardly any English in this place! This surprised me because 1) every place in China spoke a little English, and 2) its proximity to Hong Kong. Anywho, Portuguese and Cantonese are the primary languages here. And don't expect to get by with some sort of Romance language education.. I found it very difficuly to interprate the...

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  • Macao's culture is Cantonese,...

    Macao's culture is Cantonese, mostly from Hong Kong and some from the Canton province (Guangzhou). There are still Macanese (Portuguese and Asian mix) as well as a few older Portuguese. You will see mostly pure chinese though some from Taiwan or Mainland China. There are some Westerners (like Russian Street walkers and others working in different...

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  • February - Chinese New...

    February - Chinese New Year;March - Art Festival; June - International Dragon boat contest; September - International Fireworks Contest; October- International Music Festival; November - Grand Prix

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  • The first chapel was founded...

    The first chapel was founded in 1622 by the crew and passengers of a ship which had narrowly escaped capture by the Dutch. The chapel served as a point of pilgrimage for sailors embarking on a hazardous voyage.

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  • This is a view of Penha Hill. ...

    This is a view of Penha Hill. You'll discover quite a few churches here, leftover from the days of Portuguese control. I don't know if there is still a thriving Christian population, but I kind of doubt it.

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  • Are you interested to read...

    Are you interested to read your emails directly from your own internet provider back home whilst you're on the road? I learned about a wonderfully simple e-mail service for travelers and have been using it for the past 2years! It has NEVER failed me so far... mail2web.com allows you to retrieve all of your e-mail messages directly from your own...

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  • MONEY MATTERS:Well, in case...

    MONEY MATTERS:Well, in case you didn't already know, Macau has its own currency (yes, the Pataca), which is worth almost exactly the same as Hongkong dollars. Anyhow, no need to change any money into Patacas prior to your visit. In fact, you probably don't *want* to change any. All establishments in Macau accept HK dollars, and if you do obtain any...

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  • MACAU - SURVIVAL GUIDE: ...

    MACAU - SURVIVAL GUIDE: Bargain, Bargain, Bargain. Haggle, Haggle, Haggle. Yes, especially when buying jewelry, antiques, etc... Be sure to ASK for a certificate for the gold purchase (as proof of purchase/ for authenticity). If you see something you like and the price is right, yes - it's alright to go ahead and BUY IT... otherwise you'll might...

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  • ATMs:These days when...

    ATMs:These days when travelers talk about visas they don't necessarily mean the diplomatic kind. Gone are thedays of traveler's checks (read: obsolete!). TODAY, you can leave your money safely in the bank and access it from anywhere in the world and withdraw it in that particular country's local currency. Yes folks, there are ATM machines all over...

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Macao Local Customs

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