The “A-Ma Cultural & Tourism Festival” will be held from 24th to 26th October. Activities planned in relation to the Festival will presumably stimulate inbound tourism as well as local consumption.
The “A-Ma Cultural & Tourism Festival” is organized by the Macau Government Tourist Office, the Cultural Institute of MSAR and the Goddess A-Ma Foundation of Macau, with the support of Fujian Tourism Bureau. Honorary President of the A-Ma Cultural & Tourism Festival Organizing Committee is Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Dr. Chui Sai On. Macau Government Tourist Office Director Eng. João Manuel Costa Antunes is President of the Organizing Committee, while Vice-Presidents include President and Vice-President of the Goddess A-Ma Foundation of Macau Mr. Ngan In Leng and Mr. Chan Meng Kam, the Fujian Provincial Tourism Bureau, Deputy Director of the Macau Government Tourist Office Ms. Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, Vice President of the Cultural Institute Ms. Mac Kit Kuan. The secretariat of the A-Ma Cultural & Tourism Festival Organizing Committee is located in Grand Prix Building on Avenida Amizade.
The A-Ma Cultural & Tourism Festival comprises a myriad of activities:
(1) Procession of A-Ma Statue; (2) Opening Ceremony; (3) Ritual Ceremony (4) The Macau Tripod Placing Ceremony; (5) “A-Ma Cultural Seminar” inviting scholars from Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau to discuss about the A-Ma culture development at the conference hall of the Macau Museum; (6) Cultural Performances, and so forth.
Over 4,000 A-Ma temples can be found all over the world, and there is an estimated total of 200 million A-Ma followers globally, dispersed in places like South East Asia, Mainland China, Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, Europe and America. There are over 100 million A-Ma followers in China, while Taiwan boasts another 14 million, rendering A-Ma one of the most widespread religions.
Director of the Macau Government Tourist Office Eng. João Manuel Costa Antunes traced the origins of the A-Ma culture to the Fujian province of China, and affirmed its profound influence on Fujian and Macau in all aspects, whether ethnic, religious, historical, cultural or architectural.
The A-Ma Cultural & Tourism Festival in Fujian last year and a similar event held recently in Tianjin have both seen great success, attracting innumerous followers and tourists from various different countries. Participation in these events have enabled the Macau Government Tourist Office to draw on the experiences of the organizers, and witness the development potential of religious cultural tourism.
The support of the Fujian Provincial Tourism Bureau is believed to bring about a more effective and efficient promotion of the event, as well as stimulate tourism and cultural exchanges between Fujian and Macau.