Dublin to hold Lu­nar New Year fes­ti­val

China Daily - - LIFE - Jour­ney to the West),

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.

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