What’s on for Chinese New year in Dublin?

How are your New Year’s resolutions going so far? Have you already given up already? If you have, don’t be disappointed with yourself, because there is another new year waiting just around the corner. The Chinese New Year is only two weeks away! 

Many countries in the western world use the Gregorian calendar, the first day of the official New Year being the first day of January. But some countries in East Asia traditionally celebrate the first day of January in the lunar calendar. The first day of Chinese New Year (also called Lunar New Year) doesn’t have a set date, it depends on the lunar cycle every year. So this year, It falls on Saturday 25th of January 2020. Western horoscopes include 12 zodiacs, one for each month. There are 12 Chinese zodiacs as well, with each year represented by an animal and its reputed attributes, but the animal is for the entire year. If you were born in the years 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, or 2008 you are in luck, because this year’s animal sign is the Rat which is your Chinese zodiac animal. To know more about the Chinese New Year check here out our Babylon Radio article.  

Many countries that celebrate Chinese New Year regard it as the most important holiday in the year. Most people spend time with their families. Even if you can’t go to your home town for the Chinese New Year, or you are unfamiliar with it, there are many events for the Chinese New Year happening here in Dublin!

Some advice: Don’t wear white or black clothes on Chinese New year. It brings bad luck! 

Dublin lights up red for Chinese New Year

The colour red is as the ‘lucky’ for the Chinese. According to many New Year’s legends, evil spirits are scared of red, and the Chinese believe it helps to kick out evil spirits. So red items are the most important decorations for Chinese New Year. And to celebrate the Chinese New Year, recognisable landmarks in Dublin will be lit up red during the Chinese New year. 

Where: Dublin City Hall, Convention Centre Dublin, Smithfield Square, Kildare Village, The Westin Hotel and Guinness Storehouse
When: Wed 15 Jan – Sun 26 Jan

Dublin Chinese New Year Festival – The Spring Festival Fair

Dublin’s historic Fruit and Vegetable Market will reopen for two days on Sat 25 and Sun 26 January to host the flagship event of the 2020 Dublin Chinese New Year Festival – The Spring Festival Fair. The iconic Victorian-era building, which closed for redevelopment in August 2019 will welcome thousands of people where the event combines performances, workshops, demonstrations and games, plus tasty food stalls and special appearances by highly skilled folks artists visiting from China over the course of two days as Dublin City celebrates Chinese New Year.

Where: Dublin City Fruit & Vegetable Market, Mary’s Lane, Dublin 1
When: Sat 25 Jan – Sun 26 Jan

CSSA Chinese New Year Celebration

The Chinese Students & Scholars Association celebrate for Chinese New Year. To mark the special Year of the Rat, Chinese students based in Ireland present a fantastic programme of cultural performances. Plenty of surprises on the night, plus welcome drinks and a chance to win great prizes. Booking in advance is required for this event, tickets can be purchased here.

Where: Venue UCD Belfield, Astra Hall
When: Sat 8 Feb, 6.30pm-8.30pm

Chinese Square Dancing

Chinese Square Dancing has now become an annual staple within the festival programme. There are no fixed steps, their facilitator will create all the moves, with integrated elements from yang-ko and Chinese ethnic dance, along with ballroom dancing steps. Simply a fun and relaxing way to exercise and promote wellbeing. Suitable for all ages, easy to learn, no foundation required, and most importantly no partner required!

Where: Wolfe Tone Square, Wolfe Tone St, Dublin 1
When: Sat 1st Feb 2.00pm-4.00pm 

HERE IS CHENGDU – Joyful Family Day

Come along to CHQ on Saturday 18 – Sunday 19 January and discover more about the City of Chengdu in China and its intangible cultural heritage and more. From classical Chinese dances to puppet shows and acrobatic performances, enjoy this two-day fun and cultural family event out here in Dublin’s Docklands.

Where: EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum
When: Sat 18 Jan, 10.00am – Sun 19 Jan, 5.00pm


To celebrate the Chinese New Year, Asia Market, Dublin’s destination for Asian food and ingredients, will be hosting a Tasting Tour of the market. They will guide you around the flagship store and Asian Food Wonderland on Drury Street, giving you a chance to explore the tastes and delights of Asian food and drinks. 

Where: Asia Market, 8 Drury Street, Dublin 2

When: Sun 26 Jan, 12pm & Sat 8 Feb, 12pm


The annual Chinese New Year Community Celebration, hosted by Hill Street Family Resource Centre in partnership with the North East Inner City Initiative will take place on Saturday 25 January. Launched by Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform, Paschal Donohoe T.D. on Monday 13 January, this FREE family-friendly event will see North Inner City’s Hill Street transformed into a Chinese Wonderland. Over the course of the afternoon, it will host traditional live performances from local talent, as well as Chinese workshops and performances. 2020’s celebration is the Year of the Rat: a year of new beginnings, strength, prosperity and luck!

Where: Hill Street Family Resource Centre  
When: Sat 25 Jan, 2pm-7pm

Celebrating the Korean New Year

Koreans also celebrate the Lunar New Year (It is called SeolNal 설날). It’s one of the most important holidays in Korea as well. The Korean wear hanbok (한복), eat Korean traditional food such as Tteokguk (soup with sliced rice cakes) and play folk games in the Lunar New Year. If you want to know more about the Korean New Year, the event will be the perfect place to go enjoy Korean culture. You can expect an array of activities from traditional Korean food to Korean folk games in the event. 

Where: Dublin Christian Mission, 5-6 Chancery Place Dublin 7
When: Sat 25 Jan, 12.00pm-5.00pm 
Fee: 10 Euro

The Chinese New Year festival has been held in Dublin for the past 13 years and is now celebrated in almost 300 cities across the globe. You can find out more information and get the full list of events happening in Dublin over the Chinese New Year festival period here.

Mia Kim
Mia Kim

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