Dublin Chinese New Year Festival to attract 10,000 people
Two-day event of family-themed entertainment to include martial arts and calligraphy
Lion dance performance on Parnell Street, Dublin as part of the Dublin Chinese New Year Festival. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times
Almost 10,000 people are expected to attend the Dublin Chinese New Year Festival in Dublin this weekend.
As 2018 is the year of the dog, the fair at the CHQ building is a dog-themed family entertainment event of workshops, food, and arts and crafts where people try their hands at Chinese chess and calligraphy, as well as witness martial arts displays, and musical performances.
Taking inspiration from Temple Fairs in China, the two-day event attracts close to 10,000 visitors from Chinese, Irish and EU communities. This year, the festival celebrates the lunar year.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar attended the event on Saturday and described it as an opportunity to celebrate Sino-Irish relations.
During his visit, Mr Varadkar received a demonstration in traditional Chinese sugar painting, Chinese chess and Mahjong. He also met young dance performers from the Chinese Cultural Academy of Ireland, as well as Cantonese lion and dragon dancers.
“Visiting CHQ today was like stepping into Chinatown,” he said. “It is great to see Chinese culture in Ireland celebrated so vibrantly at the heart of our capital city. The Chinese community makes a great contribution to Dublin and to other cities, towns and villages across the country.
“The annual new year festival provides a very positive opportunity to celebrate Sino-Irish relations. Our diversity helps to make us a more tolerant, open and outward looking country where difference is embraced.”
Guangyu Wu from Liaoning in the northeast of China attended the event with his two daughters, Zihan (7) and Zinuo (2). He has been living in the Republic for 15 years.
“My daughters were born here,” he said. “I try to bring them home as much as I can, but it’s hard and I wanted them to learn about Chinese culture so this seemed like a good opportunity.
“It’s the Chinese new year so it’s a special time. They get to speak Chinese and English here so it’s a good experience for them.”
The festival is run by Dublin City Council in conjunction with the Dublin Chinese New Year zAdvisory Panel.