DCNYF 2020 Programme Now Live

Today Dublin Chinese New Year Festival announced details of the programme which will celebrate the Year of the Rat. Each year DCNYF invites everyone to be part of the celebrations and immerse yourself in Chinese culture, as Dublin City celebrates with a programme that includes talks, visual arts, performance, film, music and many family friendly events.  

Highlights include:

  • Spring Festival Fair, two wonderful free days of music, colour and fun at the iconic Dublin City Fruit and Vegetable Market
  • Many buildings and landmarks across Dublin and Kildare will light up in festive red to welcome Chinese New Year
  • Two days of fantastic family-friendly celebrations at Kildare Village, including interactive activations by special guests from China. 
  • A selection of of galas / concerts, where you can enjoy Chinese talent and culture in live performances including Mongolian ethnic dance, acrobats and Peking opera. 
  • Intriguing talks & lectures exploring various aspects of modern and historic Chinese life including China’s role as a space superpower, the lives of Chinese children over the past century and even Chinese swear words! 
  • A wealth of films and exhibitions to explore.
  • A myriad of food experiences and food tours to give you a real taste of Asia. 
  • Tours both in Chinese and in English celebrating the rich Chinese culture in Dublin. 
  • Hands-on workshops for adults and families / children to learn more about Chinese traditions and arts. 

So whether you want to try some square dancing, sample dumplings, wonder at Chinese art, experience a Chinese tea ceremony, create your own Chinese puppet or immerse yourself in culture, film and music, Dublin Chinese New Year Festival 2020 is for you. 


Lord Mayor of Dublin Paul Mc Auliffe said:

“Dublin Chinese New Year Festival has been a wonderful addition to Dublin’s cultural calendar since its founding in 2008. This year’s programme is one of the strongest to date, with a jam-packed schedule of exciting events set to take place across the city.”

Speaking at today’s launch, Chinese Ambassador to Ireland, His Excellency He Xiangdong, said:

“As we prepare to welcome the Chinese New Year of Rat, I am delighted to extend my festive greetings and best wishes to the Chinese Community in Ireland and to our Irish friends and partners. I wish everybody a very happy and prosperous new year!”

Be part of the celebrations with many free events:  

  • The centrepiece of the Festival will be two days of music, colour and fun at the SPRING FESTIVAL FAIR taking place at Dublin’s iconic Fruit and Vegetable Market on Mary Street. Ahead of its redevelopment, this much-loved Victorian market will reopen to play host to a free, family-friendly celebration, based on traditional Chinese temple fairs. Celebrate with a jam-packed programme including workshops, performances, tasty food stalls, demos and lots more. (Sat 25th 11am-6pm & Sun 26th Jan, 11am-5pm, Free) 
  • LIGHTING UP THE CITY: The Great Wall of China famously lights up green for St Patrick’s Day and, for Chinese New Year, Dublin City returns the favour! For the fifth year in a row, the festival is teaming up with Tourism Ireland and participating venues to illuminate recognisable landmarks and sites in festive red to welcome The Year of the Rat.
  • Once again partnering with KILDARE VILLAGE, DCNYF invites you to celebrate over 1st & 2nd Feb. Enjoy a colourful programme of Chinese New Year celebrations, with lots of family-friendly activities including special guests from China to demonstrate some very impressive (and highly delicious!) Chinese folk arts. (11am-5pm, Free) 
  • Dance the day away: Why not give CHINESE SQUARE DANCING or Guangchang Wu a try at Wolfe Tone Square (1st Feb 2pm-4pm, Free) 


  • SPRING FESTIVAL GALA IRELAND 2020:  The fantastically talented Inner Mongolia National Art Theatre is bringing world-class cultural heritage acts to Dublin as part of their grand tour of Europe. Expect Mongolian ethnic dance, music and instrument performances, as well as highly skilled acrobatics and Peking Opera. Brought to you by UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland and the Chinese Embassy in Ireland. (Convention Centre, 10th Feb, 7.30m, tickets €20) 
  • At Dublin’s City Hall, experience a concert for all the family, OUR CHINATOWN, spotlighting the rich array of Chinese talent now enhancing musical life at the RIAM (Sat 8 Feb, 3pm, tickets €8/€5) 
  • Widely-recognised as one of the world’s greatest advocates of her instrument, Chinese classical guitarist XUEFEI YANG performs as part of the Royal Irish Academy of Music / National Gallery of Ireland International Visiting Artists Series (NGI, Sun 9 Feb, 3pm, tickets €5 – €20) 


  • DUMPLINGS: WRAPPING UP A LONG HISTORY: At the Chester Beatty, hosted by food writer Mei Chin, find out all about Chinese dumplings, the different types, what they symbolise, where they originated from and how they are made. (25th Jan, 1.10pm, free) 
  • TO THE FAR SIDE OF THE MOON- CHINA’S SPACE PROGRAMME: Join author and broadcaster, Brian Harvey, as he tells the story of China’s space programme from its origins in the 1950s to its first man and woman in space and its subsequent plans to set up bases on the moon and Mars (Royal Irish Academy, Thu 6 Feb, 6:30pm  free) 
  • HOW CHINESE MIGRANTS ADAPT TO LIFE IN IRELAND: presented by Dr. Jun Ni, lecturer in Chinese in the School of Languages, Law and Social Sciences at TU Dublin, will give a brief introduction to the history of Chinese migration in Ireland, examining how Chinese migrants reshape their cultural identity (27th Jan, 6.30pm, free) 
  • LOOKING AT IRELAND FROM CHINA: Professor Jerusha McCormack (Beijing Foreign Studies University & TCD) will reflect on the commonalities that have emerged between Ireland and China over the course of fifteen years teaching about Ireland in China (National Library of Ireland, 4th Feb, 6.30pm, free) 
  • A series of talks at Trinity Long Room Hub, presented with Trinity Centre for Asian Studies: 
  • Dr Isabella Jackson will explore the lives of Chinese children over the past century (28th Jan, 6pm, free) 
  • Academic Liu Xun will trace the history of data protection and privacy back to the literary inquisition of Eighteenth Century China, examining the linguistic strategies of the time and how they relate back to the modern world (29th Jan, 6pm, free) 
  • Dr Ning Jiang will shed light on the linguistic and cultural background of a number of Chinese swear words (Mon 3 Feb, 6pm, free)
  • Take a look at the history of Chinese overseas as Peter Hamilton outlines the history of the Chinese diaspora and introduce key examples of Chinese mixing, adaptation and hybridity abroad (5th Feb, 6pm, free) 


  • Tagged by Time Out Magazine as ‘one to watch’, don’t miss the very talented comic EVELYN MOK, questioning the norms of convention and boldly breaking the mould of what it means to be a woman of colour in comedy (International Comedy Club, 7th Feb, 6.30pm, tickets: €10 / €8) 


Highlights include:

  • Take a free Chinese language tour of the Gallery of Photography’s immersive exhibition NEW ARTIFICIALITY by Swiss artist Catherine Leutenegger, exploring the strange world of 3D printing, including 3D printed homes being built in Suzhou, China (25th Jan, 2pm) 
  • BEIJING INTO SONG documentary from Milena de Moura Barba: Fifteen people from different origins who live in the city of Beijing, sign a song and tell the history of how this song influenced their lives, (25th Jan, 3pm, tickets €10) 
  • Acclaimed documentary from director Xiao Han, MASTERS IN THE FORBIDDEN CITY, follows the lives of relic restorers in China’s imperial palace who are painstakingly piecing together antiques thousands of years old. The film offers fascinating insights into the lives of the so-called “relic doctors” (National Gallery of Ireland, 2nd Feb, 3pm, free) 
  • THE SECRET OF NIMH: With the ploughing season fast approaching and her son gravely ill, Mrs Brisby must seek the help of the mysterious rats. Follow this charming animated adventure with owls, cats and the scientists of NIMH (Chester Beatty, 2nd Feb, 2pm, free)


A key part of the Chinese New Year celebrations is enjoying good food with good company. From the traditional Chinese New Year Eve’s dinner right through to the tasty sticky rice balls served on the fifteenth day of the celebrations, Dublin’s Asian eateries will be serving up delicious dining experiences throughout the lunar festival.  Check out the different lunar feasts on offer and keep an eye out for traditional Lion Dancers making a visit to the restaurants on Friday 31st January from 6pm.  

  • Take an ASIAN FLAVOURS WALKING TOUR and enjoy some delicious authentic Asian cuisine at different stops, while tourguide Yang Zhang explores the integral role of food in the Chinese New Year celebrations and traces the history of the Chinese community in Ireland (meet at the Spire, 1th & 8th Feb 1.30pm, tickets €20) 
  • Join Chinese culture expert Alice Chau-Ginguene for an unforgettable culinary adventure and sample at least 6 of these regional cuisines right here in the heart of Dublin in this TASTE OF CHINA FOOD TOUR (Meet at Sichuan Chilli King, 2nd Feb 6pm, tickets €50) 
  • Gather with good company for HOT POT NIGHT where the resident expert will provide you with a crash course in concocting the perfect hot pot (Lao Restaurant, 4th Feb, 6.30pm, tickets €25)


Highlights include:

  • DUMPLING DAY: Visit Asia Market for a delicious dumpling tasting experience! Dumpling making, dumpling cooking and dumpling tasting galore in store all day (31st Jan, 12 noon, free) 
  • CHINESE NEW YEAR FOOD EXTRAVAGANZA: Get your tastebuds ready and come hungry to experience the full flavour of an authentic Asian market in this Chinese New Year Food Extravaganza (Asia Market, 1st & 2nd Feb, 12 noon – 5.30pm, free) 
  • A unique experience to attend a traditional CHINESE DRESS BANQUET inspired by the Song Dynasty, part of China’s golden age, where you can savour dishes from this expansive era, albeit with a contemporary twist.  (Good World Restaurant, 28th Jan 1pm /6.30pm, tickets €32 special advance booking price) 
  • CHINESE NEW YEAR BANQUETS at The Vintage Teapot (30 Jan Sichuan Style & 6 Feb Cantonese Style, 7pm, tickets €35) 
  • Love dumplings and want to make your own? Join dumpling guru Li Xiu for DUMPLING MAKING WORKSHOPS to learn the basics of crafting them to crispy perfection (The Vintage Teapot, 2nd Feb & 9th Feb, 2.30pm, tickets €30) 
  • CHINESE NEW YEAR COCKTAILS: Chinnery Gin and The Little Pig will celebrate Chinese New Year with an evening of cocktails inspired by China. Award-winning mixologist Pat Thomas and Chinnery Gin distiller David Havelin will lead you in discovering an array of flavours from China (The Little Pig – Secret Location, 8th Feb, 5pm, tickets €40)


Highlights include:

  • ALICE’S CHINESE FOOD TOUR: Join Alice Chau-Ginguene to learn all about the authentic Cantonese food, language and culture Dublin has to offer (Meet at Duck Restaurant, Fade Street, 9th Feb, 12 noon, tickets €50)
  • ASIA MARKET FOOD TOURS: Enjoy an exclusive tour of Dublin’s destination for Asian food and ingredients, Asia Market, at the heart of the city’s creative quarter on Drury Street (Asia Market, 26th Jan & 8th Feb, 12 noon, tickets €20) 
  • IRISH WHISKEY TOUR IN MANDARIN: Visit the Irish Whiskey Museum and experience the Classic Tour with a Mandarin guide (26th Jan & 2nd Feb, 2.30pm, tickets €5) 
  • TOUR OF IMMA IN MANDARIN: Join a guided tour in mandarin of IMMA’s international group exhibition entitled ‘Desire: A Revision from the 20th Century to the Digital Age’ spanning over a hundred years (1st Feb, 2.30pm, free) 
  • TOUR OF CHESTER BEATTY’S CHINESE COLLECTION: Join Brian O’Neill, one of Chester Beatty’s most experienced guides, as he presents some of the superb items from the Chester Beatty’s Chinese collection (6th Feb, 1.10pm, free) 
  • BILINGUAL TOUR OF THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF IRELAND – DECORATIVE ARTS & HISTORY: Celebrate Chinese New Year with an English/Mandarin tour of the museum’s collection of objects originating from China. (9th Feb, 3pm, free) 


Highlights include:

  • FREE SKETCHING WORKSHOP FOR FAMILIES: explore and respond to Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane’s collection, looking at works such as Chinese Landscape by artist Patrick Scott (26th Jan, 3pm, free) 
  • DROP IN FAMILY WORKSHOP: Join Chun Zhu Wang for a family drawing workshop and find out about the traditions of Chinese New Year, for children of all ages (National Gallery of Ireland, 2nd Feb, 11.30am, free) 
  • ANIMAL FLOW: Dynamic floor-based workout combining the elements of gymnastics, yoga, and strength training into animal-inspired exercises (Chester Beatty, 5th Feb, 6pm, tickets €5) 
  • SYMBOLISM IN CHINESE ART: Join artist and China scholar, Heather Gray, for an introduction to Chinese art through an exploration of animal symbolism. Six week course (The Vintage Teapot starts 6th Feb, 6.30pm, €180 / €150 concession) 
  • TRADITIONAL CHINESE ART WORKSHOP: Join award-winning Chinese artist Chen Hu for a traditional Chinese Art Workshop (National Gallery of Ireland, 6th Feb, 6pm, tickets €25) 
  • Get an insight into MANDARIN CHINESE LANGUAGE & CULTURE presented by Ximena Arias-Manzano (National Library of Ireland, 7th& 8th Feb, 3.30pm, free) 

Keep updated at dublinchinesenewyear.com