Feast of the Drunken Dragon | Macau, China

We started off our first evening in Macau in style at City of Dreams complete with a nice dinner at Beijing Kitchen and catching The House of Dancing Water, so the following morning has got to be something as good.

And there’s no better way to indulge in some traditional events in Macau than to be there at the festivities and experience it personally, don’t you think? Here’s my experience with the Feast of the Drunken Dragon for you…

[Experience Macau May 2013]
17th May 2013 – Day 2
Feast of the Drunken Dragon

Feast of the Drunken Dragon, that occurs on the 8th day of the fourth month on the Lunar Calendar along with the Feast of Bathing of the Lord Buddha, is a very unique festival as compared to the other major Chinese festivals.

During the Qing Dynasty era, while the villagers of the Kangxi kingdom were praying to the Buddha for help against a disastrous plague and carrying his statue, a giant python leaped out of the river on to the bank and blocked their way. A Buddhist monk came forward to protect the villagers, he slashed the monster, cutting it up and tossed it back into the river.

But the pieces writhed about and amid a great wind and thunder, they flew up into the sky. Then after the event, the people miraculously recovered from the plague and the ground stained with the creature’s blood was unusually fertile. Believing that they had been saved by a divine dragon, the people carved its image and at the annual festival when the Buddha is bathed, they drank wildly and danced with the dragon.

It would be interesting to observe the festivities but due to the unforeseen bad weather that morning, the celebrations started earlier and was already taking place when we arrived at Senado Square.

Feast of the Drunken Dragon | Macau, China
Check out the overwhelming pack of photographers with their gears!
I seriously cannot outdo them with all the pushing and shoving around! 🙁

Feast of the Drunken Dragon | Macau, China07

Feast of the Drunken Dragon | Macau, China
Bottoms up! As in an entire wine jar!

Feast of the Drunken Dragon | Macau, China
Getting each other drunk by spitting into each other faces?
Hmmm… I sure prefer the former with the wine jar! Hahahaha!

Feast of the Drunken Dragon | Macau, China

Feast of the Drunken Dragon | Macau, China
Drunk participants displaying drunken dance moves with wooden heads and tails of a dragon…

Feast of the Drunken Dragon | Macau, China
Taking a break during the celebrations. Must had been too much wine…

Feast of the Drunken Dragon | Macau, China
The participants lining up to enter the main tentage where they will perform the drunken dance and give honors to the sponsors of the celebration.

Feast of the Drunken Dragon | Macau, China
For the safety of the participants, the security was rather tight and the crowd surrounding the main tentage to catch what’s happening in there was so dense that I cannot see a thing that’s happening in there no matter how high I climb to elevate myself! Sobs! But oh well, instead of sulking, I managed to catch some of the participants not involved with the main performance!

Feast of the Drunken Dragon | Macau, China

Feast of the Drunken Dragon | Macau, China

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Check out the expressions on the participant’s face on the right! Very professionally displaying the spirits of a ferocious dragon, don’t you think?

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And not forgetting the younglings spotted participating in the festivities!

Frankly speaking, how many kids these days will be willing to leave the comfort of their rooms or put aside their IT gadgets, let alone be bothered about traditions or join their folks and be part of festival activities like such? Two thumbs up for them! 🙂

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participants preparing to move off for their road march from Senado Square…

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Moving off from Senado Square!

The participants will go in the direction of the Inner Harbour and pay a visit to some of the shops and piers on the waterfront. At each stop, they drink wine until they are not able to go on. Celebrations will last throughout the day where all participants and observers end the day with a great dinner!

I will seriously love to witness the entire celebration but decided to give up on following the troop because as you can see from the picture above, the sky doesn’t look like it will clear up anytime soon and I really don’t wish (and I am not prepared) to be caught in the rain!

Anyway, I will say that the celebrations for Feast of Bathing of Lord Buddha is pretty similar to Vesak Day here but with a twist of a drinking fiesta from the Feast of the Drunken Dragon organized by the Fishermen associations in Macau! It’s fun to be in the crowd and soak up in the local culture so do mark it on your calendar and experience the festivities if you’re even travelling to Macau in May!


More posts from Experience Macau May 2013 travelogue series:

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