The Dublin Chinese Lunar New Year Festival is now in full swing, marking the timely arrival of The Year of The Ox with a series of online events celebrating resilience, strength and energy. We’ve been busy leafing through this year’s packed programme, selecting our pick of Arts workshops, short films, guided online tours, recipes and live food demos to help you celebrate the Lunar New Year with aplomb… Xin Nian Hao!
Workshop Wonders – Snuff Boxes and Lion Masks Oh My!
There was a time when the taking of snuff was a popular habit in Dublin’s pubs, and during the time it was fashionable, the manufacture of snuff accessories also proved a somewhat lucrative industry in several cultures. China produced a variety of beautiful receptacles, and an incredible snuff bottle collection can be found at Dublin’s Chester Beatty Library. These beautiful snuff bottles form the inspiration behind a workshop explaining how to make your own, under the expert tutelage of Artist Heather Gray.
Heather also hosts a workshop with plenty to keep kids entertained on Saturday Feb 13th, as she demonstrates how to create a Lion Mask from a paper bag and some paint. The mask will come in particularly handy when performing a traditional Lion dance, and you can learn how to do it in ten simple steps following the instructions in this online video available here.
Is Parnell Street Dublin’s ‘Chinatown’?
The episode explores the history of migration in Dublin’s City Centre, zoning in on the Parnell Street and Moore Street areas in the context of how new communities have come to settle there, bringing a rich heritage of culture and cuisine with them. Listen here, on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or where ever you get your podcasts. 2pm Thursday, Feb 10.
A Feast of Virtual Recipes, Demos and Flavours
Home Meal Kits, a host of recipes, and a food demo with Dublin’s latest Bib Gourmand recipient… just some of the wealth of food related events to look forward to as part of this year’s festival.
Thursday 11 Feb at 12 noon sees award-winning chef Barry Sun Jian of Blackrock’s Volpe Nera restaurant present his take on a classic, beef tartare. A copy of the recipe can be downloaded here, and you can also read our interview with Barry here.
Eva Pau of Asia Market hosts an online cooking demo on Sunday February 14th when she will be making New Year dumplings and explaining their significance, while those looking to cook up a special Lunar New Year feast of their own can check out a great selection of recipes on the Asia Market website.
Other events include a free virtual wine tasting event with Great Wall Wine in the company of Janet Wang, author of The Chinese Wine Renaissance. Hosted by The Ireland China Science and Technology Association, tickets are free, but booking is required. The link will be made available to ticket-holders on Eventbrite from 7pm on Saturday, 13 February.
Traditions of the Chinese New Year
What is a red packet? What is the significance of the lantern? What do the Chinese eat during Lunar New Year? Find out the answers to each of these questions and more, as Professor Yani Blake guides you through the history of the Chinese New Year with a selection of heartwarming stories.
East-Asian Cinema Shorts
This year sees the festival host an incredible series of short films featuring stories from a variety of East-Asian cultures. Highlights include Fagara, a Lunar New Year film with themes of family reunion and reconciliation with the past, Sigh Gone, a film inspired by the tragedy of losing one’s phone and Kimchi, a story about life, death, and of course kimchi. Meanwhile, in Like Mother, Like Daughter, On Tết, a Vietnamese-American transgender woman, sneaks behind her mother’s back to wear her first áo dài in the hope of convincing her mother that she is capable of being her daughter. Director Kady Le describes it as “a coming of age story, a mother-daughter story, and a story about acceptance”. Tickets to all films are free, but booking is required.
Guided Online Art Tours and Films
Physical walking tours and excursions may be currently out of bounds, but it is still possible to enjoy some gorgeous sights courtesy of Dublin’s museums. The Hugh Lane Gallery will be sharing short art activity films specially created by their artists. There is no need to register and the films will be available to view here for the duration of the festival. Chun Zhu Wang presents the “Through a Lens Tour” in both Mandarin and English with The National Gallery of Ireland, available here from Tuesday, 9 February at 17:00.
Meanwhile The Irish Museum of Modern Art invites you to learn about Lu Chunsheng’s, Before the Appearance of the First Steam Engine, and Colin Martin, Head of RHA School, hosts a live conversation and a fresh look at artwork by recent RHA studio artist and painter Jingze Du.