Macau is an autonomous territory within China. A Portuguese colony until 1999, Macau has a diverse culture firmly rooted in Cantonese culture, with a mix of influences from East Asia and Western Europe. Macau is known for being the largest gambling center in the world.
The Macanese language, generally known as Patuá, is a distinctive creole that is still spoken by several dozen members of the Macanese people, an ethnic group of mixed Asian and Portuguese ancestry that accounts for a small percentage of Macau's population.
In 1998, the first Festival da Lusofonia took place in Macau, a festival of Portuguese-speaking communities. In November 2013, the 16th edition of the festival took place over the duration of two and a half days with musical activities, kids programmes, traditional Portuguese games and food from Portuguese speaking countries' cuisines.
Most of the pop music that can be heard on the channel TDM Teledifusão de Macau () is imported from Hong Kong or overseas (mainly Japan). However, more and more local songs are being recorded by locals. Some Brazilian TV stations are also broadcast in Macau.
Macanese cuisine is a blend of southern Chinese (especially Cantonese cuisine) and Portuguese cuisines, with significant influences from Southeast Asia and the Lusophone world. The most famous snack is the Portuguese-style egg tart. It is widely popular in Southeast Asia, especially in Taiwan and Hong Kong. The most famous Macanese food is Galinha à portuguesa which is served in numerous varieties in Macau restaurants.
The primary religion is Buddhism. Roman Catholicism has considerable influence in education and social welfare in Macau. However, adherents only count for about six percent of the population. Protestantism is spreading quickly, especially among the younger demographic groups.
The practice of traditional Chinese medicine is an inalienable part of culture in the sphere of medical education, and a very common, alternative, and popular choice of treatment in Macau, for people of all social classes. With over 90 percent of its population having Chinese ancestry, Macau has had a long history of using Chinese medicine.
A Pan-Pearl River Delta Forum and Exhibition for Chinese Medicine was held in Macau from June 21 to 23, 2005, intended to further Macau's ambitions of becoming a means of access to Chinese traditional medicine for the international market.
A few independent films have been produced since the late 1990s. Some of the well-known productions include:
The Macau International Music Festival is conducted by the Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Macau SAR Government every autumn. The 20th anniversary of the MIMF was celebrated in 2007 with performances of Jazz, classical music, electronica, Chinese folk-pop, rock and Fado.
In 2005, the Hush!! Full Band Festival got established, a government-sponsored modern music festival featuring pop rock and hard rock bands from all over Asia with a focus on Macau bands. The festival is free of charge and it's in its 9th edition in 2013.
The literature of Macanese (i.e. those with Portuguese descent) is a multi-dimensional art. Their literature appeared as early as the 19th century. At the beginning of the 20th century, a group of well-known writers appeared:
Cantonese Opera is quite popular, especially among elderly residents. In 2003, the Cultural Institute of the Macau S.A.R Government, in collaboration with the Leisure and Cultural Services Department of the Hong Kong SAR, organized the exhibition "Fong Yim Fun - The Life and Work of a Cantonese Opera Artiste". As a well-known actress and opera artiste in Canton, Hong Kong and Macau, Fong Yim Fun performed in more than 150 operas and films. Part of her works was exhibited in the Museum of Macau at that time.
The Macao Cultural Centre was established in 1999, for the purpose of offering unique venues for artistic events, international conferences and exhibitions, enhancing cultural exchange, and helping to expand culture horizons among Macau residents. Hundreds of programs and events take place there almost every day--e.g., martial arts performances, Chinese traditional music, foreign music, varies types of dancing, etc.
The Macau Ricci Institute is a recent foundation of the Jesuits in Macau. Its aim is to continue the process of friendly encounters between Chinese and Western cultures and traditions, which was begun by Matteo Ricci 1552-1610 many years ago.