Horta da Mitra – The Bird’s Paradise – Food & culture

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Situated at the central part of Macau, close to Rua da Campo and Rua da Guia, was once a popular gathering and hunting place for Portuguese communities back centuries, now naming the district “The Bird’s Paradise”.

Raised up during my childhood at Rua de Tomas da Rosa, along the historical, iconic long-stone staircase built centuries ago – other buildings, temples and heritage surrounding Horta da Mitra, have presented the map of “Old Macau times”.

Further one street block away close to the Market established in 1939, there were enormous, local food hawkers and restaurants places along the main streets, which definitely will fill up your stomach, experiencing the most authentic, local tastes.

Fok Tak Chi Temple, the oldest temple built in mid Qin Dynasty, in the sixteenth centuries, celebrate its birthday every year on 2nd of Feb, old lunar calendar (first week of March). Continuous six days celebration starts with worship ceremonies, lion dance parade, along with fire crackers celebrations, to stunning outside catering dinners – the never forget chinese opera performances ongoing, to blessed food with roasted barbecue pork placed in buckets, as a return gift sets for association affiliates.

In the same seasonal month, temples in Rua da Praia do Manduco and Rua da Ribeira do Patane organises similar activity celebrations, among which in Horta da Mira holds the most traditional, biggest ceremony, in one centralized location.

As a part of World Heritage Monuments hold in the historic center of Macau, Fok tak Chi holds the most presentation of oriental and occidental cultures.

This most iconic “bamboo” outdoor venue setup, holds sheltering for more than five hundreds visitors, allows all activities ongoing even on rainy days; the outside catering holds up to fifty rounds dinner daily, hosted and served by well known local chinese restaurant, Lai Kei. Elderly guests over 100 years of age are invited to get seated inside the temple enjoying vegetarian chinese style dinners in one big table, served to show filial piety influences – a virtue of respect to all parents, elderly and ancestors shown to all people.

This is one of the yearly event in March that you shouldn’t went missing!

Stay tuned in the upcoming articles about The Bird’s Paradise, separately focus on local food choices availability – charcoal clay pot brewed coffee, home made chinese fried donuts, local made congees, chicken feet and barbecue pork served with dried noodles, etc. so much more to share!

Angela Fung