The annual festival Lusofonia is coming up again. The festival has been entertaining the city for over two decades, and it’s always a lovely autumn event. Taipa Houses-Museum, situated between Cotai and Rua do Cunha, will play host to the festivities. The streets fill up with cultural elements from Portugal, Mozambique, Cape Verde, India, Brazil and many other countries with a Portuguese influence. This year, the festival takes place October 16–18, 2020. To get around Lusofonia on a full belly and glass, you must master at least these 10 expressions.
“Olá, tudo bem?” is the most common greeting of the Portuguese language. It means “Hi, how are you?” and it’s a great way to start a conversation when celebrating Portuguese-speaking countries’ culture.
Do you like foosball? It’s a good entertainment device and an awesome way to meet new people since the tables are always crowded. Grab a drink and head to the “matraquilhos”!
If you enjoy watching an exuberant show with feathers and a lot of color in the mix, you definitely have to know “samba”, the name of a Brazilian typical dance. Samba can be described as a mix of folk dances and cabaret.
Besides all the music, dancing and games, Lusofonia also offers a wide range of food, drinks and goods. If you head to Taipa Houses-Museum looking to get a taste of Lusophone bites, you absolutely have to try “bifana no pão com molho”. It is a pork steak sandwich topped with homemade sauce – it resembles the local chu pa pao. It should be paired with a cold beer.
By the way, I might be biased, but Portuguese beer is just marvelous. Sagres is lighter and Super Bock is stronger, but both are quite efficient at quenching your thirst. “Cerveja” is the word you should use when asking for a beer. Not with a “z” sound, but with “j” instead.
Are you more into fish and vegetables than meat? There’s also space for you at this festival! The food court has at least two stalls serving curly kale soup and roasted sardines. These incredible dishes are pronounced “caldo verde” and “sardinhas assadas” in Portuguese.
“Espectáculos” is the word you should be looking for if you want to find the stage where the concerts and entertainment acts take place. It is situated on the left side of the lake, but in doubt, just ask “onde são os espectáculos?”
Heading to the festival to purchase Lusophone art crafts? Say no more. The word you need to learn is “artesanato”, meaning handmade crafts. In Lusofonia you’ll find several stalls offering different kinds of handicrafts from all over the Portuguese-speaking universe.
“Duas caipirinhas, por favor”. Yes, this should be #1 on the list, but food and entertainment come first. “Caipirinha” is a Brazilian cachaça-based cocktail with lime and sugar. The caipirinha served at Casa do Brasil is one of the most requested drinks at Lusofonia, therefore it’s always crowded. The expression means “Two caipirinhas, please”, so take my advice: pay and take two so you don’t need to queue another 15 minutes after you finish the first one.
“Vinho” is always a good thing to know, anywhere in the world. It’s the Portuguese word for wine, to which you can add “branco” or “tinto” to describe white or red wine, respectively. Lusofonia serves a wide range of beverages depending on the stall, but wine is always a wise choice. Try a white one if the hot weather is not being kind to you.
The program of this edition of the festival is as diverse as its previous installments. Different booths by Portuguese-speaking communities from ten countries or regions, namely Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Goa, Daman and Diu, Mozambique, Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe, East Timor and the Macanese community, will be set up, introducing their countries or regions’ traditional music, geography, arts and crafts, customs, literature, tourist information, and gastronomy. João Gomes and Band, Gabriel, Inova Band, Groove Ensemble 2 Band, 80&Tal Band, Francois & Rita, Fado and Portuguese Popular Music Group and Fabrizio Croce are some of the bands performing this year.
On each day of the Festival, local Portuguese-speaking artists will perform different styles of music and dance on the main stage of the Festival and soft music on the stage installed in Carmo Square. In addition, the Festival temporary restaurant will serve Portuguese dishes at lunch and dinner time, namely typical Portuguese grilled food and specialties of the various participating Portuguese-speaking countries and regions. There will also be a kiosk installed in the venue serving typical Portuguese snacks and drinks. Furthermore, visitors of all ages can participate in traditional Portuguese games, including wooden ski run, rope pulling and others which will be held at Carmo Square on Saturday and Sunday afternoon.
Winners will receive bottles of wine, codfish, canned sardines, and Portuguese sausage. Also, there will be table football tournaments. Teams consisting of two participants of two different categories, 16 years old and above and under 15, can enroll until 4:30pm on Saturday. During the afternoon of Saturday and Sunday, a leisure space for children featuring diversified games, puppet shows, and face painting will be provided. The temporary “Rádio Carmo” station will be installed on-site broadcasting lusophone music throughout the Festival, plus broadcasting interviews with the public.
This year, local company smallWORLD Experience is organizing a Lusofonia afterparty, Partyfonia. Taking place in Afrikana bar–Macau Fisherman’s Wharf–it’s expected to bring everyone down to the dance floor till late since the festival usually packs up early. Put on your dancing shoes and join friends and family to dance to the music of kizomba, samba, pimba, and all the great Lusofonia sounds!
When: Lusofonia – October 16–18, 2020
Partyfonia – 10:00pm–4:00am, Friday and Saturday, October 16 and 17, 2020
Where: Lusofonia – Taipa Houses-Museum and Carmo area, Avenida da Praia, Carmo, Taipa
Partyfonia – Afrikana bar, Fisherman’s Wharf, Avenida da Amizade e Avenida Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, Macau
How much: Lusofonia – Free admission
Partyfonia – MOP $80 per person (including one drink)