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These are some of the major events coming up in 2024

From important elections to space exploration and infrastructural feats, this is going to be a busy year for Macao and the world.




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Less than 1 minute Minutes

UPDATED: 04 Jan 2024, 4:35 pm

For many people, 2023 was defined by the optimism of the ending of Covid-19 as a global health emergency, by the ongoing concern at the state of the global economy, and by the mounting horror of the Israel-Hamas war. It is still far too early to predict which stories will define 2024, so the following list is far from definitive. It’s safe to say, however, that many of this year’s events will affect not just the next 12 months but the remainder of the decade. 

Here are some of the major happenings, local and global, that have the power to shape our lives in 2024 and possibly beyond.


BRICS group - 2024 major events
Photo by Oleg Elkov

The BRICS group of nations gets bigger (1 January)

Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia join the BRICS bloc of developing economies, alongside Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. This is the acronymic bloc’s second expansion (after the addition of South Africa in 2010), but there’s so far no indication as to what new – and presumably lengthy – jumble of letters might make up its new name. 

[See more: Here are 6 ways to make New Year resolutions work]

First version of Mickey Mouse enters the public domain (1 January)

The new year kicks off with the earliest, black and white version of Disney’s iconic character entering the public domain 95 years after he was first introduced in 1928’s Steamboat Willie. Now that it’s free from copyright, expect the classic character to be appropriated in all sorts of genre-busting ways, in the manner of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and the upcoming Bambi: The Reckoning

People in Taiwan go to the polls (13 January)

Some 19 million voters on the island will cast their ballots for a new leader, in an election that will be closely watched not only in China, where there are mounting calls for reunification, but also in Washington, which frequently makes the island a flashpoint in its geopolitical rivalry with Beijing. 

The Davos World Economic Forum convenes (15 January)

The 54th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum will provide thought leaders and policy makers a crucial, four-day opportunity to focus on the fundamental principles driving trust, transparency, consistency and accountability in global affairs.


The Year of the Dragon - 2024 major events
Photo by Thomas Despeyroux

The Year of the Dragon begins (10 February)  

If the Chinese Zodiac is to be believed, 2024 will be an especially prosperous and lucky year, as it is the Year of the Dragon, one of the most powerful and auspicious animals in Chinese culture. This year specifically belongs to the Wood Dragon and augurs well for growth, progress and abundance.

[See more: 7 Chinese New Year traditions to fill your holiday with joy, luck and prosperity]

Scheduled completion of the Seac Pai Van LRT Line

Measuring 1.6 kilometres, the Seac Pai Van Line will be the next Light Rail Transit (LRT) link to open following the Barra-Taipa extension on 8 December 2023. A commencement date has yet to be confirmed for the 939 million pataca project, but February is the month that construction is expected to be finished. 


Formula 1’s 2024 season kicks off in Bahrain

Formula 1’s 2024 season kicks off in Bahrain (2 March)

The island kingdom of Bahrain has the honour of launching an action packed calendar for motorsport’s apex teams. The season promises a record-breaking 24 races this year, including the Shanghai Grand Prix in April, back from its pandemic hiatus.

[See more: Eight top racers have been immortalised in the Grand Prix Museum’s latest attraction]

The 2023 African Games will belatedly commence (8 March)

The 13th African Games in Ghana will see 53 African nations competing in twenty-four different sport events ranging from football to arm wrestling. Originally, the event was scheduled to take place in August 2023, but it was ultimately delayed due to the economic issues plaguing Ghana. It will run until 23 March.

Portuguese voters choose a new government (10 March)

Portuguese voters will head to the polls to vote in early elections triggered by a government corruption scandal. In early November, Prime Minister António Costa surprised Portugal with his resignation, which was quickly followed by President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa’s dissolution of parliament. A probe has been launched into alleged wrongdoing by Costa’s administration in the awarding of lithium exploration and green hydrogen projects.

Hollywood turns out for the 2024 Oscars (10 March)

Glitz and glamour return to the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood in Los Angeles. Among the contenders for Best Picture are Justine Triet’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner Anatomy of a Fall, Yorgos Lanthimos’s Poor Things, (the winner of Venice’s Golden Lion) and Cord Jefferson’s American Fiction, which clinched Toronto’s bellwether Audience Award. 


The world’s most populous nation
Photo by Sumit Saraswat

The world’s most populous nation goes to the polls (1 April)

Indians choose their leaders in a gargantuan exercise that will see an estimated one billion voters exercise their rights over an eight-week period beginning at the start of the month. Some analysts believe a win by prime minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata party is almost a certainty.

The fourth Macao-Taipa bridge is slated for completion

Costing approximately 6.7 billion patacas, the 3.1 kilometre fourth Macao-Taipa bridge is due to complete construction in the second quarter of 2024, although an official opening date has yet to be set. In order to come up with a name for the bridge, the government has organised a competition featuring monetary prizes between 6,000 and 10,000 patacas. 

[See more: A competition to name the fourth bridge has been announced]

Macao takes its place at the Venice Biennale (20 April)

Now in its 60th year, the Venice Biennale is one of the oldest and most renowned international cultural exhibitions in the world, featuring events that span genres from dance to fine art to theatre. Macao will be represented by the exhibition, Above Zobeide, during the biennale’s International Art Exhibition, which kicks off on 20 April. 


Chang’e 6 heads for the moon
Photo by Nicolas Thomas

Chang’e 6 heads for the moon

China’s unmanned Chang’e 6 mission aims to make scientific history in this first attempt to collect lunar samples from the unexplored and rugged dark side of the moon. An exact launch date hasn’t been specified, but from the moment of take off the mission is expected to last for 53 days

[See more: Macao scientists line up to take part in manned space programme]

Nations vie for the Eurovision crown (11 May)

The Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2024 will take place in the Malmö Arena in the coastal Swedish city, with some 37 countries taking part in the 68th iteration of the globally famed musical competition. 


The men’s Twenty20 World Cup
Photo by Aksh yadav

Cricket comes to the USA (4 June)

The men’s Twenty20 World Cup – a fast-paced, popular form of the game – will be jointly hosted by the USA and the West Indies from 4 to 30 June. There are high hopes that the spectacle will encourage the sport’s development in the USA, where it has only a marginal, mostly expatriate following.

[See more: How cricket in Macao endures against all odds]

The 48th Copa América kicks off (20 June)

Taking place every four years, the 48th instalment of South America’s most prestigious men’s football tournament will be held across 14 venues in the United States. The championship will feature 16 teams from the American continent, including reigning champion, Argentina. 

King Charles III banknotes enter circulation (mid-2024)

Polymer banknotes in the United Kingdom will begin featuring King Charles III’s portrait once they enter circulation by the middle of 2024. Coins featuring the monarch already started to enter circulation at the end of 2023. 


2024 Summer Olympics
Photo by Bryan Turner

The opening ceremony of the 2024 Summer Olympics takes place (26 July)

Exactly 100 years after the French capital last held the Summer Olympics, Paris 2024 is promising to be quite different from previous iterations, with new events such as break dancing and skateboarding. As well, the opening ceremony will not be held in a stadium, but in the heart of the city, along the Seine. 

[See more: Team China Olympians continue three-day Macao visit]

US election fever begins in earnest (15 July)

The Republican Party nominates its candidate for America’s presidential election at its national convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The choice of host city is no accident, with the Midwest seen as a hugely important electoral battleground.


17th edition of the Paralympics
Photo by Jon Tyson

The Paralympics commence (28 August)

Taking place 17 days after the Summer Olympics, the 17th edition of the Paralympics will be the first one to ever be held in Paris. It will be an opportunity for 4,400 paralympians to showcase their prowess across a range of sports and promote inclusive sport for all. 

[See more: Inside the Macau Special Olympics]

Indonesia will inaugurate its future capital, Nusantara (17 August)

Despite the eye-watering price tag of US$35 billion, Indonesia has ambitious plans to gradually transfer its capital from the overpopulated, subsiding and flood-prone city of Jakarta to the planned city of Nusantara on the island of Borneo by 2045. The inauguration of the future capital will coincide with independence day in Indonesia and will see the unveiling of important buildings, including the presidential palace. 

A Democratic candidate for the US presidency will emerge (19 August)

The Democratic Party will choose its candidate for America’s presidential election at its convention in Chicago. In spite of his age, the current US leader, 81-year-old President Joe Biden, faces little opposition in the race for selection.


Tokyo Game Show
Photo by Hannari_eli

The Tokyo Game Show showcases the latest in gaming (26 September)

One of the biggest video game conventions in the world will be taking place in Japan from 26 to 29 September. Now in its 28th year, the extravaganza will feature upcoming releases from famous Japanese developers such as Sega, Capcom and Konami, as well as the latest video game hardware. 

[See more: ‘The UN is not something far away.’ Marking United Nations Day in Macao]

Global governance on the agenda (22 September)

How can multilateral bodies be reformed to make them more representative of a multi-polar world? How do nations improve cooperation on climate change and other hot button issues? Delegates to the United Nations’ Summit of the Future discuss these and more.


The People’s Republic of China marks its 75th anniversary

The People’s Republic of China marks its 75th anniversary (1 October)

Chinese National Day is held annually on 1 October, celebrating the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949. This year will be the PRC’s 75th anniversary, and will feature a range of events across China from fireworks to concerts and flag-raising ceremonies. 

Hong Kong launches its first Performing Arts Expo (14 October)

Macao’s neighbouring SAR will inaugurate the Hong Kong Performing Arts Expo (HKPax) in October at a cost of HK$42 million (US$5.4 million). The new event will be staged until 18 October and is designed to showcase the territory’s cultural talent through drama, dance and other types of performances, with exhibitions, talks and pitch sessions also held across different venues. 

[See more: A series of videos about Macao’s Catholic history has been released]

The Catholic Church concludes a mammoth consultation exercise

October marks the conclusion of the three-year long Synod on Synodality, a series of Catholic consultative assemblies, first organised by Pope Francis in October 2021 to discuss vital issues pertaining to the future direction of the church. Some of the important questions that are being considered include clerical celibacy and the position of LGBTQ Catholics.


US elects a new president this November
Photo by Element5 Digital

The US elects a new president (5 November)

It isn’t just the top job that’s up for grabs. All 435 seats in the House of Representatives, along with 34 out of 100 seats in the Senate, will also be vied for, along with the governorships of 13 states and territories.

The Hengqin LRT Line is scheduled for completion

When the 2.4 kilometre Hengqin Line opens toward the end of 2024, passengers will be able to travel by rail between Taipa and Hengqin via an undersea tunnel. As with the Seac Pai Van Line, no specific opening date has been confirmed, although November is the likely month for construction to wrap on the 3.4 billion pataca project

[See more: What’s next for Macao’s LRT?]

COP29 convenes (11 November)

The 29th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 29) to the UNFCCC will convene from 11 to 24 November 2024 in Azerbaijan. The choice of host nation has aroused concern among environmentalists, who say the annual forum has increasingly come under the sway of oil producers. In 2023, oil and gas production accounted for almost 93 percent of Azerbaijan’s export revenue and nearly half of its GDP.

Humankind returns to the moon 

The Artemis II crewed mission will see NASA astronauts return to the moon for the first time since Apollo 17 – the last manned moon mission, which took place back in 1972. The 10-day mission will launch in November at the earliest, and will involve four astronauts flying close to the moon. If all goes according to plan, it will set the stage for Artemis III, which will see the first woman and person of colour land on the moon by as early as December 2025.

The Macau Grand Prix revs up (14 November)

The iconic, three-day street circuit racing competition returns for its 71st edition in November. With still eleven months left to go, the organisers have understandably not yet announced any details, but the TCR World Tour is definitely confirmed, as indicated on its 2024 calendar. Last year also saw an impressive line up featuring the likes of Richard Verschoor and Dan Ticktum, so expect no less this year.


Notre Dame Cathedral
Photo by Stephanie LeBlanc

Notre Dame Cathedral reopens five years after the fire (8 December)

Less than six years after a shocking fire tore through the roof of the building, France’s Notre Dame Cathedral is expected to reopen for visitors and religious services. The restoration project is currently on track to meet the reopening deadline of 8 December, set by President Emmanuel Macron just after the blaze.

Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng’s term in office ends (19 December)

Ho is keeping mum about whether or not he intends to run for a second five-year term and dates for an election have not yet been set. These will be the first chief executive elections, however, to take place under the new Chief Executive Election Law, which took effect on 1 January.

[See more: Macao’s governance gets a tick of approval from President Xi Jinping]

The Macao SAR marks the 25th Anniversary of its establishment (20 December)

Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng has stated that his administration intends to follow the principle of staging a “grand, but simple” event that “will not be wasteful or extravagant.” Although nothing has been confirmed yet, senior members of the central government can be expected to attend, as was the case during the silver jubilee of the Hong Kong SAR’s establishment. 

 – Additional reporting by Tanja Wessels and Aidyn Fitzpatrick

UPDATED: 04 Jan 2024, 4:35 pm

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