Chinese New Year Festival returns for ninth year

Chinese New Year 2016

Christina Chang (15) Anne Lawlor from Raheny and Linjia Zheng (5) at the launch of Dublin’s Chinese New Year Festival.
Pic: Sasko Lazarov/Phtocall Ireland

Learn all about Chinese culture as the Chinese New Year Festival welcomes the Year of the Monkey!

All will be welcome to experience the celebrations as the city plays host to the festival from February 6 to 21. Dubliners will get to experience the very best of Chinese traditions first hand with carnivals, cooking, singing and storytelling to name but a few.

Festivities kick off with the Spring Festival Carnival Experience in the chq Building on Custom House Quay. Over the course of two days the showcase will include fireworks, lantern making, tea tasting and cookery demonstrations against a backdrop of Chinese dragons and lions with a visit from the Chinese Monkey King.

The Chester Beatty Library will play host to amazing artwork with painting workshops from Dutch-Chinese artist Hoi Shan-Mak. Those seeking to learn more about the traditions of China can visit Trinity College for a lecture on historical and contemporary Chinese topics from the Asian Studies department.

Perhaps the most famous Chinese export is food, and visitors will be spoiled for choice when experiencing this particular aspect of the culture. Dubliners will be treated to cookery demos and food stalls from Ireland’s premium Irish supermarket as well as an in-depth guide to cooking and preparing authentic Chinese meals, with a hands-on guide to creating a Chinese meal from scratch with a cookery demo from Soder+Ko chef Kwanghi Chan in Cooks Academy.

Another fascinating event taking place is Le Cool’s Chinese Experience Walking Tour, which will guide people through Dublin’s vibrant Chinese community and the impact it has had on the city.

Irishtown Stadium will be playing host to a free Chinese sporting tournament in association with Emerald Media, while other highlights will include Meet the Monkeys Workshop at Dublin Zoo, a concert by Wu Wei Sheng in The Chapel Royal in Dublin Castle, a discussion of the contemporary fashion scene with Fashion China author Gemma A Williams, and a performance by Chinese pop musician Fifi Rong in the Sugar Club.

Lord Mayor of Dublin Críona Ní Dhálaigh made a statement in anticipation of this year’s festivities:

“For its ninth year Dublin City Council will once again host the Chinese New Year Festival. The festival showcases and highlights the very best of the Chinese community in Dublin and how it has helped Dublin become the buzzing and lively cultural city it is today. From food to business the festival offers Dubliners the chance to discover, experience and celebrate the magnificent traditions of Chinese culture in our city. I would like to thank Dublin City Council for their continued support of the festival and look forward to the city enjoying the celebrations together as we enter the Year of the Monkey!”

Some of the festival’s events have a cover charge, while others are free but require booking. To view the full programme of events, visit the Dublin Chinese New Year website!

By Kevin Carney

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