Macau is a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China. Macau became a colony of the Portuguese empire in 1557. It was lent to Portugal as a trading post but remained under Chinese authority and sovereignty. Self-administration was next achieved in the 1840s. When the Qing dynasty and Portugal signed the Sino-Portuguese Treaty of Peking in 1887, the treaty terms made Macau a Portuguese territory again until 1999, when it was handed over to China. Macau was the last extant European territory in continental (on-shore) Asia.
The culture of Macau is characterized by the fusion between the Portuguese and Chinese.
The Macanese language, generally known as Patuá, is a distinctive Creole that is still spoken by several dozen Macanese, 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 happened in Macau, a festival of Portuguese-Speaking communities in Macau. 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
Macanese cuisine is a blend of southern Chinese 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 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.
Other Lusophone music types popular in Macao are samba, bossa nova, and kizomba.
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 Macau Cultural Centre (i.e. Centro Cultural de Macau) 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.