Dublin City Fruit & Vegetable Market to host two days of free, family-friendly fun at 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 over the course of two days as Dublin City celebrates Chinese New Year and welcomes the Year of the Rat.

The hugely-popular Spring Festival Fair returns this year to the Dublin City Fruit & Veg Market for two days of free, family-friendly fun. Inspired by Chinese temple fairs, or ‘Miaohui’, the event combines performances, workshops, demonstrations and games, plus tasty food stalls and special appearances by highly skilled folks artists visiting from China.

Everyone is invited to come along and have their face painted, marvel at the Chinese dragon and lion performances, take part in an authentic Chinese tea ceremony, try out Chinese calligraphy, and share their hopes for the Year of the Rat with the Wishing Tree.

Some highlights:

A Chinatown Gate for Dublin 

What would a Chinatown gate for Dublin look like? Calling people of all ages to help us find out! Using recycled materials and a lot of tape we will be folding, sticking, and assembling our very own Chinatown Gate. Join us for five minutes to five hours as we construct Dublin’s very first Chinatown gate! All materials will be provided and all welcome!

Chinese Dragon and Lion Performances

Traditional Chinese Lion and Dragon dancers will appear at the Spring Festival Fair each day, bringing blasts of colour and music with pop-up performances throughout the day. A team of trained Irish-Chinese dancers bring the colourful larger-than-life puppets to life, with live musical accompaniment adding to the atmosphere of celebration.

Chinese Sugar Painting

A unique opportunity to see the 700-year-old sugar painting practice from China. This rare artform normally found at  temple fair, market fair or in park in China is a old folk tradition. Watch folk artists Binbin Liu create beautiful sugar figurines of your own zodiac sign. Please note €5 per sugar figurine

Chinese Flour Figurines (Mian Ren) 

DCNYF are delighted to bring the Chinese folk art of Mian Ren to Ireland. Those skilled at the craft can make eye-catching figurines out of coloured flour balls with a small bamboo knife. The tiny sculptures can be kept as ornaments, or eaten as a snack!

Chinese Language Learning with The Institute of Chinese Language Culture

Come and drop in to the family friendly Learn Chinese Language Lab at the Festival Fair, sit down with a Chinese language teacher to practise your Chinese or to learn some useful phrases & Chinese New Year greetings.

Create and Light Up Your Chinese New Year Greeting Cards with Paper Circuits

Vicky Twomey-Lee and Michael Twomey will show you how to make and light up your Chinese New Year greeting card with paper circuits and LEDs. Materials are provided. Parents must stay with their kids during the workshop.

Tai Chi and Qi Gong demos with the Sam Lee Academy.
Tai chi is a perfect combination of Chinese dialectic ideology, art and martial arts. Come and experience this quintessential Chinese sport that aims to cultivate shape, breath, strength and the spirit of the human body.

Chinese Fashion Show & Performance

The Chinese Cheongsam association will be hosting a one hour live show full of dance, singing, music and the best of traditional Chinese fashion. Come be blown away by the best Chinese cultural offerings the Spring Festival Fair has to offer.

Chinese Tea Ceremony

Tea remains a central piece in the Asian cultures, especially in China where it first originated. Discover the wonderful atmosphere of a traditional Chinese tea ceremony and find out the art and philosophy of drinking tea.

Chinese Chess / Go Board Games

Experience a game that stretches back 5,500 years. Come and challenge yourself with the oldest board game that are still continuously played today at all corners of the world.

Chinese Calligraphy with Angela Wang

Chinese Calligraphy which literally means “beautiful writing,” has been appreciated as an art form in many different cultures throughout the world, but the stature of calligraphy in Chinese culture is unmatched.

Chinese Face Painting

Join the festivities with wonderful face painting designs by Dublin Body Paint who will be give your little ones a little Chinese New Year makeover – take your pick of all the zodiac animals and more. 

Traditional Chinese Costume

Time to take a selfie in a traditional Chinese costume, taking you back centuries!

Willow Pattern China Plate Workshop 

Design and paint your own ‘China’ Plate using the story of the Willow Pattern as inspiration. The famous blue and white pattern was inspired by Chinese Qing Hua  pottery, but the story of the lovers was written in England in the 1700’s. Adults will upcycle old ‘China’ plates, while kids can draw the willow pattern on paper plates

Delicious Asian Food Stalls

There will be an array of delicious authentic Asian cuisine on offer. Chow down on some noodles from China House, try Bullet Restaurant’s tasty dumplings, sample one of Bao House’s signature bao burgers, yummy Chinese baked sweets and much more. 

Craft Stalls

Explore craft and Chinese goods stalls, from Ethnic Minority goods from Yunan to beauty products, jewelry and much more!

The Spring Festival Fair takes place as part of Dublin Chinese New Year Festival 2020, which runs from 24 Jan – 10 Feb in venues across Dublin City to welcome the Chinese Year of the Rat. 

The festival is an initiative of Dublin City Council and generously supported by Kildare Village, Dublin.ie, Carrolls Irish Gifts, Asia Market and RTÉ Supporting the Arts. 

Keep updated at dublinchinesenewyear.com