Dublin to hold Lunar New Year festival
DUBLIN — The largest Chinese New Year Festival ever to be held in the Irish capital, Dublin, will be staged from Feb 1 to 17, organizers announced last week.
“Over 80 programs will be held throughout the festival, making this year’s festival the largest in terms of the number of its programs over its 12-year history,” Aimee Van Wylick, a producer of the festival, told at a media briefing.
Activities will include concerts, including one by Ireland’s National Symphony Orchestra in collaboration with Chinese musicians, films, traditional dances, acrobatic performances, food fairs, and other Chinese cultural exhibitions and workshops. The event is expected to attract tens of thousands of visitors.
As the 2019 Lunar New Year is the Year of the Pig, many programs are related to the zodiac animal, such as a comic book workshop on Pigsy (or Zhu Bajie, a character in the ancient Chinese novel a special pig-themed banquet at a local Chinese restaurant and a tour of Dublin City Farm, say organizers.
A number of landmark buildings and sites will be lit up red from Feb 1 to 5 to mark the Lunar New Year, which will fall on Feb 5 this year, they say.
Nial Ring, lord mayor of Dublin, says the Dublin Chinese New Year Festival has been a vital platform for celebrating the strong connections between Ireland and China.
“The strong and vibrant Chinese community in Dublin has added hugely to the cosmopolitan culture of our city. It is a major source of pride to the people of Dublin that our Chinese New Year celebrations are among the biggest in Europe,” he says.
China’s ambassador to Ireland, Yue Xiaoyong, who also attended the briefing, says the fact that Dublin’s city council has held the Chinese New Year Festival for 12 consecutive years demonstrates the friendship of the Irish and Chinese people.
He says: “2019 marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Ireland, a milestone for our friendship and a new beginning for our bilateral ties with a future brighter than ever.”
In a message contained in a booklet about the festival programs, which was released at the briefing, Irish President Michael D. Higgins says: “In Chinese culture, the pig is a symbol of wealth, good fortune and prosperity.”
He wishes all members of the Chinese community in Ireland a happy and truly prosperous new year.