Lanterns light up Macau’s sky

Hong Kong has dazzled spectators year after year with its colourful lantern displays during the Mid-Autumn Festival, and now Macau has followed suit with its own illuminating exhibit.

From now until October 10, visitors may feel as they have fallen down the rabbit hole into Wonderland as they stroll past the more than 40 rabbit-shaped lanterns on display along the waterfront promenade of One Central Macau.

Hosted for the first time by One Central Macau and the Macao Government Tourism Office, the Macau Lantern Festival coincides with both the Mid-Autumn Festival and the annual Macao International Fireworks Display Contest. The lantern designs were a collaborative effort between Carlos Marreiros, a renowned Macanese artist and architect, and 20 notable artists from Macau and Beijing.

The centrepiece of the exhibition is hard to miss – an 11-metre tall inflatable rabbit that casts a watchful eye over the harbour. This whimsical display of public art is said to embody feelings of joy, reunion and familial bonding. Marreiros was also the mastermind behind the Macau Pavilion that featured at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.

Commenting on this year’s display, Marreiros said: “The inaugural Macau Lantern Festival presented the perfect occasion to extend our vision, with our spirited sculptural lanterns contributing towards the joy of the Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations,”

After viewing the lanterns, visitors can then take an evening boat ride on the Nam Vak Lake, sample wine and dine at one of several pop-up stations, and marvel at the many fireworks displays. A series of ornately embellished boats, modelled in classical styles, provide the perfect viewpoint for the magnificent firework displays, all set against the stunning backdrop of the Macau Peninsula.

Inspired by this inaugural lantern display, Macau’s Mandarin Oriental hotel is offering a special menu across its signature dining outlets. The custom seasonal menu at the Vida Rica Restaurant includes steamed prawn dumplings with carrot and celery; steamed lotus paste buns; and ‘rabbit’ marshmallows, all infusing this particular culinary experience with a suitably festive Mid-Autumn character.

Not one to miss out on the fun, the Lobby Lounge is to serve its popular traditional afternoon tea, spiced up with an imaginative ‘rabbit’ mix berry cheesecake, a treat also available at the Mandarin Oriental Cake Shop.

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