In just a few days we will be celebrating the Chinese New Year! We are already excited for what’s to come. That’s why we have prepared a short guide about the best ways to spend February 5, 2019 in Dublin for everyone who wants to join the celebrations!
The Spring Festival
Chinese New Year is the Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival. Even though it’s usually still very cold, the day marks the end of the cold winter days and the upcoming spring with new beginnings and fresh starts. Traditionally, the celebrations begin on Chinese New Year’s Eve and last for around 15 days. Let’s hope February 5 will be the beginning of warmer days in Dublin, too!
It’s all about decorations! Traditionally, the Chinese put up red posters with poetic verses to their doors, Chinese New Year pictures on their walls, and decorate their homes with red lanterns. Everything is supposed to be in red, which is believed to be a colour related to success.
Interestingly, Chinese New Year is a holiday that causes the largest human migration in the world. This is due to the fact that it is very important for the Chinese to return home for New Year’s Eve dinner. Usually, whole families will sit together to watch the New Year Gala on TV featuring traditional performances from China’s best singers and dancers.
In addition, people also believe that setting off fireworks will cast away any bad luck and bring good luck. This is probably the reason why each year the Chinese New Year is the day when most fireworks are being set off in the world! Other important traditions include giving ‘Lucky Money’ to the kids. It is supposed to bring good luck and health. Red is the lucky colour and therefore the money is always hidden in red envelopes.
Each Chinese year is represented by one of 12 animals from the Chinese zodiac. It is believed that the characters of those born in a given year are influenced by the representative animal. It is also considered extremely unlucky when your birth year returns, so you are turning 12, 24, 36, … etc. this year you better make sure to set off plenty of fireworks.
Chinese New Year in Dublin?
The Spring Festival celebrations take place all over the world – also in Dublin! The Dublin Chinese New Year Festival (DCNYF) has been taking place since 2008. Its purpose is to promote and deepen the Sino/Irish relationship by celebrating this important holiday in the Chinese Calendar. The programme of events is very rich. All events aim to promote Chinese traditions and bring Chinese culture to the citizens of Dublin. First of all, a number of recognizable landmarks like Trinity College, the Mansion House and many others will be lighting their facades red. There will be art exhibitions and various performance happenings all over the city. Many museums and galleries, including the Guinness Storehouse or the Teeling Distillery, will offer tours in Mandarin. Below you can read more about the events we think you shouldn’t miss!
The Spring Gala
If you’re fond of art and dance events, this special performance of sword dance, Chinese traditional dance and art might be something for you. The UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland and the Chinese Embassy in Ireland have invited the award-winning performance group Hubei Provincial Opera and Dance Drama Theatre to make their debut in Ireland on Saturday, 16 February!
Learn how to make Dumplings
Before the traditional New Year’s Eve dinner, Chinese families usually sit together to make dumplings. On Friday, 1 February, there will be free workshops showing and teaching you how to prepare this famous, traditional dish in the Asia Market in Dublin. Why not take a friend and drop in for a free cooking class!
Free food and drinks tasting in the Asia Market
Is there any better way to spend your Saturday than with free food and drinks? On Saturday, 2 February, the Asia Market on Drury Street will be having over 15 stands with flavours from different Asian countries. It’s open all day long so don’t forget to stop by and check it out!
Chinese Tea Ceremony
Tea has a very important role in Chinese culture. The ceremony of preparing and serving is just as important as the tea itself. As part of promoting Chinese traditions, on Thursday, 7 February, the National Gallery of Ireland is organising an event where you will be able to not only drink Chinese tea but also learn about its rich history in China and participate in the Tea Ceremony accompanied by traditional Chinese musicians.
Chinese New Year at Atlas!
Since we also can’t wait for spring to come, we will celebrate the Spring Festival here at Atlas, too! Colourful decorations will appear on Monday and remain for the entire week! We have also prepared some delicious Chinese desserts for Tuesday!
Don’t forget to take many photos of yourself and your friends enjoying the Lunar New Year celebrations and share it using the hashtags #AtlasLanguageSchool and #AtlasFriends as well as the official hashtags of the Festival #DCNYF and #YearOfThePig!
Happy Chinese New Year from Atlas! 新年好!