Toughness of an ox needed to brave new year carnival


WHAT DO Barack Obama, Margaret Thatcher and Barry McGuigan have in common? All were born in the Chinese year of the resilient Ox, which is celebrated again this year.

The Chinese new year began at 4pm Irish time yesterday (12am in China) and will be marked by a number of cultural and sports events during the coming week.

Those born under the sign of the Ox are characteristically stubborn, patient, and capable of enduring hardship without complaint, qualities that would have come in handy for those who stood in the freezing rain of Wolfe Tone Park in Dublin’s Jervis Street yesterday to watch the traditional carnival, complete with dragons, lion dances and martial arts displays. The evening celebrations moved to the warmer venue of the nearby Club at the Church on Mary Street, where festivities continued with further live performances and music from top Chinese DJs.

Dublin Zoo is also joining in the celebrations and has designed a specific trail to visit its Asian animals and will be offering a Chinese menu at its Meerkat restaurant all week.

The Chester Beatty Library in Dublin Castle is the centre of Chinese art and culture for the week and will host events including lunch-time lectures by Irish Times journalists Fintan O’Toole and Ruadhán Mac Cormaic.

The RIAI in Merrion Square is holding Sino/Celtic design and architectural exhibitions from 9am–5pm daily until January 30th. Architecture, interior and urban designs by students and professionals from the Chinese Institute of the Architects in Ireland will also be showcased.

Dublin’s 21 public libraries and Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane will host a number of Chinese-themed workshops during the week. Three expert Chinese craft artists Jeffery Tan, Elaine Yaps and Chen Jing Nin will present these workshops exploring the Chinese crafts of kite-building, lantern-making, calligraphy and drawing. Sporting events to celebrate the new year include a badminton tournament 10am-4pm, January 31st at Whitehall Road badminton centre, Terenure, Dublin, and a table tennis tournament 10am-6pm, February 1st at the Irish Wheelchair Association’s sports centre, Blackheath Drive,Clontarf, Dublin. Full details of all events and opening times is available at