Don’t be shy and sheepish, join in and celebrate 2015 Dublin Chinese New Year Festival!

Lord Mayor Christy Burke today announced details of one of Dublin’s biggest annual celebrations, the 2015 Dublin Chinese New Year Festival (DCNYF) which will run from 14th – 28th February. www.cny.ie

Spring Festival, or Lunar New Year, equivalent to Christmas in Ireland, is the most significant festival for Chinese people. Celebrating the advent of spring, the festival is a special occasion for family reunion, gatherings of friends, exchanging blessings, and articulating aspirations and resolutions. 

Now in its eighth year, the Festival is excited to ring in the Year of the Sheep, the lucky eighth sign of the zodiac, with a wealth of colourful, outdoor participatory events for all the family, as well as a diverse programme of music, film, lectures and more to celebrate the sounds, sights, tastes and culture of China.

Speaking about the event, Lord Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke said: “Dublin City Council is delighted to be hosting this festival which showcases how Dublin has become a dynamic, inclusive and intercultural city. I want to acknowledge the valuable contribution our Chinese community has made to the city and invite everyone to enjoy the Chinese New Year Festival activities, which offer us all a chance to celebrate and to learn about the wonderful traditions of a very ancient culture. I would also like to thank Dublin City Council for their continued support of the Festival. I look forward to enjoying the celebrations together and wish you a happy and prosperous Year of the Sheep!”

On the eve of Chinese New Year the enchanting Well Wishing Ribbon Ceremony starts on Millenium Bridge from 5.30pm, Wednesday 18th February, with ceremonial floating lanterns on the Liffey and live Dragon dancing and entertainment on the bridge. Audiences are invited to come along and tie red ribbons to the bridge and hang their special wishing cards inscribed with their hopes and dreams for the year ahead.  

This year, the un-missable New Years Day Carnival will be even bigger than ever, taking over Meeting House Square and Curved St in Temple Bar, and extending to Barnardo Sq, hosting authentic Chinese performances with Dragon and Lion Dances, Irish Dragon Boats, Tai Chi and Martial Arts displays, special Chinese traditional music, dance and karaoke.  There will also be a cookery demonstration hosted by Asia Market and a number of Food and Asia Craft stalls adding to the festive fun and atmosphere.

There will be many opportunities to sample Chinese music and entertainment, with the UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland Spring Festival Gala featuring the Red Poppy Ladies, China’s first female percussion band; a live broadcast from DIT, Kevin Street of The 2015 Chinese New Year Gala TV Show from China; a performance by acclaimed pianist Ji Liu, and a lecture-recital with Irish-American Mezzo Soprano, Dr Aylish Kerrigan, who has spent the last two decades living and working culturally in China.

Other highlights include a lecture by popular culture expert Sir Christopher Frayling, who will discuss his recently published book The Yellow Peril: Dr. Fu Manchu and the Rise of Chinaphobia and the provocative and moving large-scale colour photography exhibition by leading Chinese contemporary artist Qingsong Wang. Irish knitwear designer Lainey Keogh who has applied her creative alchemy to her favoured medium of wool will appear in conversation with Deirdre McQuillan, a fitting nod to this celebratory Year of the Sheep!

With many events free, the Children’s Programme is second to none, featuring events from storytelling to Chinese amulet and kite making, in venues across the city including The Hugh Lane Gallery, The Chester Beatty Library and Dublin City Public Libraries.

In this auspicious Year of the Sheep, the Festival is very pleased to welcome the new Chinese Ambassador to Ireland, His Excellency Jianguo Xu and wish him the very best of luck and success in the years ahead, and also look forward to continued growth and development of Sino-Irish relations here in Ireland and China.

Dublin Chinese New Year Festival is an initiative of Dublin City Council and would like to thank its sponsors Kildare Village, Arthur Cox Solicitors, Brown Thomas, Asia Market, Emerald News and Select Ireland.

For Festival information see www.cny.ie or follow us on Facebook (Dublin Chinese New Year Festival) or Twitter (@dcnyf) for regular updates.

For further information and images contact: Sarah Murphy or Kate Bowe at Kate Bowe PR sarah@katebowepr.ie / kate@katebowepr.ie / 01 652 0143

NOTES TO EDITORS

2015 The Year of the Sheep:
The Sheep is the eighth sign in the Chinese Zodiac, which consists of 12 animal signs, and as the number eight is particularly lucky, so is the sign of the Sheep. People born in the Year of the Sheep are tender, polite, clever, gentle, creative and compassionate and are fond of quiet living – characteristics that we celebrate at our Chinese Carnival this year and throughout our festival programme.  Sheep are also very creative, but can be very shy, overly-sensitive, indecisive and anxious about their appearance. 2015 is the year of the Wooden Sheep. Under the influence of the Wood element, the Sheep is witty, thoughtful, generous and has high morals.  In Chinese, there is a popular proverb: ‘Three sheep bring harmony and prosperity.’  Goats and Sheep are the two major categories of the Sheep family.  The Goats, a symbol of auspiciousness, appear sturdy and lively with a funny beard.  The white-haired Sheep stand for peace and happiness.

Uachtarán na hÉireann/President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins
“I am delighted to send my best wishes to all members of the Chinese community in Ireland as you celebrate the commencement of the Year of the Sheep. A highlight of my presidency last year was my State Visit to China. I was greatly moved by the warm welcome extended to me and to my wife Sabina by the Chinese people. It was an uplifting reminder of the close connection and friendship that our two nations enjoy. The Sheep is a symbol of peace and harmony. The Chinese community in Ireland makes a great contribution to our country, and I am confident that you will continue to play an important role in building and enhancing the warm and harmonious relations which exist between our two nations. May I wish you all a happy and prosperous new year.”

EVENT LISTINGS:

Ribbon Ceremony & Carnival

Well Wishing Ribbon Ceremony
Wednesday 18 February | 5.30pm - 7pm | Free
To ring in the Year of the Sheep the Dublin Chinese New Year Festival invites you to join us on the Millenium Bridge on Wednesday 18th of February at 5.30pm to tie ribbons and hang your special wishing cards with your hopes and dreams for the year ahead.  Enjoy Dragon dancing and further entertainment on the bridge. All are welcome on this unique special gathering amongst friends and family on Chinese New Year’s Day!

Chinese New Year Carnival Experience
Meeting House Square, Curved St & Barnardo Square (Camden St) | Sun 22 Feb | 12pm - 5pm
Each year Dublin Chinese New Year Festival rings in the new year by hosting authentic Chinese performances with Dragon and Lion Dances, Tai Chi and Martial Arts displays, special traditional music and dance entertainment along with karaoke singing.  There will also be a cookery demonstration hosted by Asia Market and a number of Food and Asia Craft stalls on Meeting House Square and Curved St. This year the Carnival extends out to Barnardo Square to include a display of an authentic Irish Dragon Boat from the Irish Dragon Boat Association and further dance and martial arts demonstration. Don’t miss out on this perfect day full of family fun!
Presented in association with Dublin City Council and Asia Market.

FOOD

Taste of China & Lunar Feasts
Lunar Feasts will take place around the city with a selection of Dublin's finest Chinese and Asian restaurants serving up delicious set-price menus that will have your mouth watering and leave you with plenty of change for your Chinese New Year red envelopes. Booking essential, visit www.cny.ie for further details and to view special Chinese New Year’s recipes.

Discover the Taste of China with Asia Market on 18 Drury Street, Dublin 2:
Tour of the Asia Market - learn the basic ingredients required to prepare and cook an authentic Chinese meal.
Fri 20 February / 5.30pm-6.30pm  / To book contact  evap@asiamarket.ie

Cooking Demo - learn how to make authentic Chinese stir fried noodles with Amoy sauces. 
Thur 19 - Sun 22 February / 12pm - 5pm / Free, no booking required.

EXHIBITION

Qingsong Wang | Everything is Possible
Gallery of Photography | 15 February - 1 March 2015 | 10am - 5pm | Admission Free
Opening hours: Tue -Sat 11am-6pm; Sun 1-6pm Mon by appointment
Qingsong Wang is one of China's most highly regarded contemporary artists. His large-scale colour photographs embody a distinctive, insider’s view on China’s post-Mao economic opening to the west and the enthusiastic embrace of global consumer culture in contemporary China.  Wang works like a film director, staging elaborate scenes often with a large cast of actors, on sprawling  sets. The resulting large-scale works are funny, sad, angry, provocative – all at the same time. This exhibition is a must-see for anyone interested in Chinese culture.

Born in Heilongjiang Province in 1966, Wang’s work has been exhibited widely in China and internationally, and represented China at the 2013 Venice Biennale.
Qingsong Wang will be in conversation with Tanya Kiang (curator, Gallery of Photography) on Sunday February 15th at 3pm.

MUSIC

Spring Festival Gala
National Concert Hall | Mon 16 Feb | 7pm | To book visit www.nch.ie
The UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland is delighted to present its Spring Festival Gala with special guest appearance by the Red Poppy Ladies, China’s first female percussion band, bringing together a group of outstanding percussionists from all parts of China. This will be their debut performance in the National Concert Hall and is a wonderful occasion for the Chinese community and Irish Friends to ring in The Year of the Sheep. Visit www.cii.ie or call 01 7163000 for further details.

Presented By The Ucd Confucius Institute For Ireland

The 2015 Chinese New Year Gala TV Show (Live Screening)
Gleeson Hall, DIT, Kevin St, D2 | Wed 18 Feb | 11.30am - 5pm | Free
On the evening of New Year's Eve, families tune in to watch the Spring Festival Gala on CCTV-4. With over 700 million viewers yearly, it boasts the largest audience of any TV show in the world. The best musicians, dancers, and acrobats perform on stage.  DCNYF in association with the Chinese Students & Scholars Association Ireland is delighted to present you a live screening of this event.  This is a unique opportunity to ring in the New Year amongst the Chinese Community and watch some of China’s best traditional performances.  Chinese New Year traditional finger food and refreshments will be served. Not to be missed!

Ji Liu In Concert
The Sugar Club | Wed 25 Feb | 8pm | Tickets €10 (To book visit www.cny.ie for details)
Shanghai-born pianist, Ji Liu has a technique to match any virtuoso. He started playing the piano at the age of three and studied in some of the world’s most distinguished music conservatories earning an enviable reputation as one of the most promising pianists of his generation. In 2014 Ji’s debut CD ‘Piano Reflections’ was released by Classic FM and immediately went on to become No.1 in the classical charts. DCNYF is delighted to host Ji Liu’s first concert in Dublin where he will be performing pieces by Beethoven, Jianzhong Wang, Gershwin, Chopin and Luobing Wang.

A Singer’s Odyssey – From Ireland to China
with Prof. Dr. Aylish Kerrigan, Mezzo Soprano & Dearbhla Collins, Piano
United Arts Club | Wed 25 Feb | 8pm | Tickets €10 (booking contact 01 4971505 or 01 66 11 4 11)
This lecture-recital will explore the experiences of Irish-American Mezzo Soprano, Dr Aylish Kerrigan, establishing a career in contemporary Irish music and German Lieder in China over the past 21 years. The huge social and economic changes in China will be addressed in view of education at the Conservatory in Wuhan, China. Musical examples will be performed live together with one of Ireland's most famous accompanists, Dearbhla Collins.
Presented by the Irish-Chinese Cultural Society in association with the United Arts Club.

FILM

Hero (2002)
Chestern Beatty Library | Fri 20 Feb | 2pm | Free (no booking required)
In ancient China the King of Qin has survived an attempt on his life by the assassins Long Sky, Flying Snow and Broken Sword. ‘Nameless’, the man who claims to have slain these would be assassins, is summoned to the kings side to recount his tale. Nominated for the 2003 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. 12; (99 min); dubbed into English.

Spring In A Small Town (1948)
Irish Film Institute | Sat 28 Feb | 4pm | Tickets €9 visit www.ifi.ie
Considered by many as one the finest work from the first great era of Chinese film-making, Fei Mu’s quiet, piercingly poignant study of adulterous desire and guilt-ridden despair is different from other films of the era. In a time when most films were coloured by the politics of the time Spring in a Small Town - now restored - is a story of a woman with a love dilemma. Following WWII and with China brought to its knees by the actions of the Japanese, prior to the rise of the Communists, led by Chairman Mao. This is the time during which Fei Mu's film takes place. Wei Wei plays a woman who lives a lonely life, shackled by her care for her gentle, but ill husband (Shi Yu) - that is until her first love reappears into her life.

Presented in association with the Irish Film Institute.

LECTURE SERIES

Lainey Keogh in Conversation
Irish Georgian Society | Sat 14 Feb | 2pm | Free (Booking essential, visit www.cny.ie)
Irish knitwear designer Lainey Keogh applied her creative alchemy to her favoured medium of wool and in doing so garnered a world-wide profile and client-list, being awarded the Prix de Coeur by Christian Lacroix for her work and featuring as the “jewel in the crown” of London Fashion week. At this special event, she will be joined in conversation with Deirdre McQuillan, Irish Times fashion editor and author of seven books including a Style Guide to Dublin and a history of the Aran Sweater. Deirdre was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Institute of Irish Designers in 2010.
Presented in association with Dublin Decorative and Fine Arts Society.

Tea Conversations @ The Hugh Lane Gallery
During these discussions participants are invited to join Gallery curators and guest speakers in an exploration of the Gallery's permanent collection, exhibitions and conservation projects, followed by tea or coffee with the speaker in the Gallery café, to allow for further discussion.
Giovanni Segantini – The Sheepfold
Wed 18 Feb | 11am - 12pm | Tickets €5
James Charles- In the Orchard, Spring
Wed 25 Feb | 11am - 12pm | Tickets €5

Xin Sun on Land Development in China
Culture Box, Temple Bar Cultural Trust | Thur 19 February | 1.10pm | Admission Free (booking essential, visit www.cny.ie for details)
Learn all about land policy and development of the real estate market in China with Xin Sun. Currently Assistant Professor at Trinity College Dublin’s Centre for Asian Studies Sun’s research has been published in numerous journals among which the China Journal and the Journal of Contemporary China.
Presented in association with Trinity Centre for Asian Studies.

Lord Mayor’s Lecture
Sir Christopher Frayling On ‘The Yellow Peril’
Chester Beatty Library | Sat 21 Feb | 3pm | Free
The Dublin Chinese New Year Festival is delighted to present popular culture expert Sir Christopher Frayling, who will discuss his recently published book The Yellow Peril: Dr. Fu Manchu and the Rise of Chinaphobia. In his book Frayling draws on an impressive range of cultural references – fiction, film, theatre, music-hall, TV and playground doggerel – to plot the emergence of sinophobia in Britain, and to argue for its ongoing resilience today.
Frayling is an historian, writer, broadcaster and critic , known for his study of popular culture. He was previously Chairman of Arts Council England, Rector of the Royal College of Art and Chairman of the Design Council, and is a long-serving Trustee of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

The History Of Dragon Boat Racing
Chester Beatty Library | Sun 22nd February | 1.15pm | Admission Free (No booking required)
A unique opportunity to learn about the traditions and culture of Dragon Boat Racing. Dragon boating is an ancient Chinese sport which dates back over 2000 years to a time of rivalry, intrigue and corruption.  Join the Chairman of the Irish Dragon Boat Association, Julie Doyle, to learn all about this ancient Chinese sport and the activities of the foundation.  A Dragon Boat will also be on display on Barnardo Square for all to view on Sunday 22nd of February from 12pm - 5pm.
Presented in association with the Irish Dragon Boat Association.

Autumn in Shanghai with author Denyse Woods
Chester Beatty Library | Thur 26 Feb | 1.10pm | Free
In 2013, novelist Denyse Woods was invited to take part in a two-month Writers’ Residency in Shanghai, organized by the Munster Literature Centre and the Shanghai Writers’ Association. In her talk, Autumn in Shanghai, Denyse will give a personal account of her time in China, during which she was fortunate to work with a number of local writers and academics – including Prof Dai Cong Rong, who is translating Finnegan’s Wake into Chinese, and the renowned Shanghai novelist, Wang Anyi. She also conducted research into the sheng (Chinese mouth organ), attended tea ceremonies and operas, visited gardens and water towns, learnt to walk backwards, almost set fire to her bedroom while cooking an omelette, and took the overnight sleeper from Shanghai to Hong Kong.

DCNYF Sino-Irish Business Seminar
Westbury Hotel | Wed 18 Feb | 9.15am – 12.45pm | Free (Booking essential, contact rsvp@cny.ie)
Year on year, in association with the Ireland China Business Association, DCNYF presents a stimulating and informative business seminar tailored for both those who are already active in this market and those seeking Chinese Market entry.  In this Year of the Sheep the seminar will focus on the agriculture and food sector. Guest speakers will include Aidan Walsh, (Texacloth)  and Caroline Keeling (Keelings) amongst other leading industry representatives.
Presented In Association With Ireland China Business Association
Kindly Sponsored By Arthur Cox Solicitors

WORKSHOPS & READINGS

The Chester Beatty Library

Creative Lab Club For Teens - The Art of Mono-Printing
Sat 14 February | 10am - 1pm | Free (Booking essential, visit www.cbl.ie)
Join Dutch Chinese artist Hoi-Shan Mak and create your own mono-print based on Chinese Zodiac Signs. Limited to 15 teens, aged 12 - 17 yrs.

Silk Worm Club (6 — 11yrs) - Chinese New Year Amulet
Sat 14 February | 2pm - 3.30pm | Free*
Learn what your Chinese zodiac sign is and how to write it. Why not turn it into an amulet decorated with the lucky knot? Limited to 20 children per session, aged 6 - 11 yrs.

Painting Workshop with Dutch-Chinese Artist Hoi-Shan Mak (18yrs +)
Sun 15 February| 1pm - 4pm | Tickets €35 (Booking essential, visit www.cbl.ie)
Celebrate Chinese New Year by creating your artwork inspired by Chinese art of paper-cutting. Hoi-Shan Mak will introduce this complex and beautiful technique of painting. Limited to 15 places.

Mandarin Language Tour
Sat 21 February | 2.30pm | Free (no booking required)
Mandarin language tour and family-friendly activities.

Chinese Astrology Readings with Ting-Foon Chik
Sat 28 February | 11.30am - 12.30pm / 2pm - 3pm / 3.30pm - 4.30pm* | Free (No booking required)
What does the Year of the Sheep hold for you? Did you know that in your Chinese Astrology chart you have a year animal, month animal, day animal and hour animal? Bring your date and time of birth, and meet Ting-Foon Chik, Chinese Astrologer and Feng Shui Consultant, for a mini reading of your natal (Four Pillars) chart. Not to be missed! *Admittance is on a first come first served basis, sessions last 5 - 10 mins.

Dublin City Public Libraries

Learn How to Make a Beautiful Picture in Wool and Silk
Pearse St. Library | Wed 18 Feb | 2pm | Free*
Ballyfermot Library | Tue 24 Feb | 10.30am | Free*
Join textile artist Miriam Brady to create your own picture ready for framing, using easy to learn felt making techniques. *For Adults only, booking essential. Contact 01
674 488

Hong Bao (Red Envelope)
Phibsboro Library | Thur 19 February | 11am (Places limited, booking essential, contact 01 8304341 / phibsborolibrary@dublincity.ie)
Finglas Library | Thursday 19 February | 3pm (Places limited, booking essential, contact 01 8344906 / finglaslibrary@dublincity.ie)
Celebrate the Chinese New Year and make your own lucky red packet.

Art and Craft Workshops for Children
Cabra Library | Wed 25 February | 3.15pm
Make red money bags, treasure boxes and lanterns. Suitable for ages 7 - 10. Places Limited, Booking essential, contact  01 8691414 / cabralibrarylibrary@dublincity.ie

Chinese Kites
Pearse Street Library | Sat 28 February | 2.30pm (Places limited, booking essential, contact 01 6744888 / pearsestreetlibrary@dublincity.ie
In China, kites were flown to thank the gods for a good harvest or to bring good luck. Learn how to make a beautiful kite using traditional materials and designs.

Reading & Viewing China at Dublin City Public Libraries
Try our recommended books for readers of all ages and selection of films to borrow including some favourite classic movies. Many branches will have attractive themed book displays. Full reading list available on our website.  For details on full programme of events, view www.dublincitypubliclibraries.ie  

The Hugh Lane Gallery

Ba Ba Any Colour Sheep
Hugh Lane Gallery | Thur 19 Feb | 11am - 12pm | Free*
Childrens workshop for all ages.

Magical Sheep, Chinese Dance Puppets
Hugh Lane Gallery | Sat 21 Feb | 2pm- 3pm | Free*
Childrens workshop for all ages. * Booking essential, contact 01 222 5553 / lkavanagh.hughlane@dublincity.ie

Family Sunday Sketching, Shengxiao – Chinese Zodiac Animals
Hugh Lane Gallery | Sun 22 Feb | 2pm - 3pm | Free
During these workshops we explore paintings and sculpture in the collection through discussion and drawing.

The Gutter Bookshop

Storytime – Chinese Folktales
The Gutter Bookshop| Sun 22 February | 11am - 12pm | Free (no booking required)
Everyone loves storytime! Join us for a special Chinese New Year themed storytime in the Gutter Bookshop to celebrate the beginning of the Year of the Sheep in 2015. Ideal for children aged 5-10, all welcome.

SPORTS

Emerald- CSSA  Sports Tournament
Emerald Sports Tournament Now in its 7th year the festival is delighted to host tournaments in badminton, soccer and basketball again. Presented in association with Emerald Sports, Dublin City Council Sports & Leisure Service Section and the Chinese Students & Scholars Association these ever popular competitions book up fast so be sure to book a place. For more info and to avail of place please contact info@0086.ie
Badminton
Aughrim Street Sports Centre, D7 | Sun 15 Feb | 10am - 5pm
Soccer
Dublin City Council Irishtown Stadium, Ringsend, D4 | Sat 21 Feb | 10am - 1pm
Basketball
Aughrim Street Sports Centre, D7 | Sat 28 Feb | 10am - 2pm

Feedback