The Dublin Chinese New Year Festival returns for another year, bringing with it lots of chances to enjoy great food and entertainment.
This Saturday 25 January marks Chinese New Year, which ushers in the Year of the Rat. Resourceful and quick-witted, rats ranks first on the Chinese zodiac signs and are believed to symbolise wealth. The New Year is marked by festivals and events around the world and the Dublin festival has been running annually since 2008.
It's a diverse mix of events, talks and dining experiences and if you're keen to try some Chinese food or learn more about the culture, here are some of the events worth checking out.
Spring festival fair
Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th January
The historic Fruit and Vegetable Market, which closed for refurbishment last year, will reopen for two days to host the Spring Festival Fair. The flagship event of the festival, there will be workshops, entertainment, language classes, tea ceremonies and Asian food stalls with the likes of China House, Bullet Restaurant and Bao House taking part.
Chinese traditional dress banquet
Tuesday, January 28th
The Good World Restaurant on George’s Street is hosting a special banquet inspired by the Song Dynasty. Guests have the chance to dress up in traditional Chinese attire as they enjoy dishes from China’s golden age. Tickets are €35 and can be booked here.
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Chinese New Year Food Extravaganza
Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd February
Asia Market on Dury Street and Ballymount are hosting a showcase of Asian cuisine during the festival. It runs from midday to 5.30pm on Saturday and Sunday and promises to be full of exciting flavours and new experiences. Plus it’s free!
Taste of China Food Tour
Sunday 2nd February
Chinese culture expert Alice Chau-Ginguene leads this tour of some of the best spots for authentic Chinese food in Dublin. Participants will be able to brush up on their knowledge and sample some of China’s regional cuisines. The starting point is Sichuan Chilli King on Parnell Street, and tickets are €50.
Sunday February 2nd and 9th
If you’ve always wanted to master dumplings, here’s your chance. Dumpling expert Li Xiu is hosting workshops in The Vintage Teapot on Cathedral Street and will be sharing tips on how to make the perfect dumplings. Tickets are €30 and available here.
Chinese New Year cocktails
Saturday February 8th
Irish gin brand Chinnery Gin is teaming up with The Little Pig for an evening of cocktails inspired by China. Mixologist Pat Thomas and Chinnery Gin distiller David Havelin will be on hand to showcase Chinese flavours and some tasty cocktails. Tickets are €40 and available here.
For full info on the festival go to Dublinchinesenewyear.com.