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Dublin: 10 °C Tuesday 19 February, 2019
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Here's what's happening in Dublin and Cork for Chinese New Year

2019 is the year of the pig which symbolises wealth.

20  Chinese New Year_90562015 Guanhui Lui 6yrs pictured at the programme announcement for Dublin Chinese New Year Festival 2019 The Year of the Pig. Source: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

CHINESE NEW YEAR festivities will kick off next weekend in Dublin, continuing for the next two weeks.

Meanwhile, Cork is hosting its first Chinese New Year festival – or the Spring festival as it is known in China – on 4 February. 

2019 is the year of the pig which symbolises wealth. The pig is the 12th and last of the 12-year cycle of animals in the Chinese zodiac.

So, if you’re thinking about heading out to celebrate over the next two weeks, here are five events to start with:

Source: Dublin Chinese New Year/YouTube

1. Opening Ceremony at Dublin’s Hugh Lane Gallery. Friday 1 February at 7.30pm 

Dublin’s festival kicks off with a concert featuring Beibei Wang, acclaimed international multi-percussionist, performing alongside Irish traditional musician Danny Diamond. You can expect a blend eastern and western musical influences, as the pair perform together for the first time. Tickets for the official opening ceremony start at €12.50. 

2. Dumpling Day at Dublin’s Asia Market.  Friday 1 February from 11am to 6pm. 

This free drop-in event encompasses the Chinese tradition during the Springtime festival of dumpling making, something that is usually done with the whole family.

At the Asia Market on Drury Street, you can drop in and taste some Kimchi filled dumplings from Korea or some Pork and Chinese chive dumplings from China. There will also be live demos throughout the day so you can learn how to wrap and make your own traditional dumplings. 

China 156_90501302 Source: Sam Boal

3. 1000-Light Dharma Rite at Nano Nagle Place in Cork. Monday 4 February at 6pm. 

Cork’s first official Chinese New Year Festival kicks off at 4pm on 4 February with a lion and dragon dance taking place on the Nano Nagle Place front plaza. A full list of events for the one-day festival can be found here but a highlight of the evening is expected to be the 1000-Light Dharma Rite, performed by Cork’s Chinese Esoteric Buddhists.

The Goldie Chapel will be transformed into a traditional Chinese Buddhist temple for the event which is for general blessings for health, wealth and good luck. This event free to attend but organisers have advised booking tickets for the different events taking place that evening. 

4. Chinese New Year Concert at the National Concert Hall. Tuesday 5 February at 7.30pm. 

The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra will be ringing in the Chinese New Year at the Concert Hall with a host of Chinese musical guests. The orchestra will be conducted by José Serebrier who takes to the podium for an evening showcasing “a tune-filled meeting of East and West”. Tickets start at €15 and are available here.

Source: BFI/YouTube

5. Screening of ‘Dead Pigs’ at Dublin’s Savoy Cinema. Sunday 17 February at 4.30pm.

An award-winning documentary film by Chinese-American screenwriter, director and producer Cathy Yan will have its Irish premiere at the Savoy. 

The comedy – which won a special jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival – follows a number of characters whose live’s collide when a porcine epidemic causes dead pigs to drift towards Shanghai. Tickets cost €10 and are available here.

dublin_goes_red_800x600 Dublin's Mansion House Source: Dublin Chinese New Year Festival

Many iconic buildings in Dublin and around the world will also be turning red to mark the beginning of Chinese New Year. On 1 February buildings in Dublin such as Trinity College, The Guinness Storehouse and The Mansion House will light up red from the opening day of the festival through to Chinese New Year’s Day on 5 February. 

There are a range of other events that will run over the next two weeks, including Chinese folding book workshops, Chinese square dancing and a Spring Festival Gala. 

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Adam Daly

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