Communities throughout Ireland will mark the Lunar New Year in February with family celebrations and of course delicious food and drink. In Dublin, the festival gets bigger and better every year, with a great selection of events coming up to celebrate the upcoming Year of The Dragon.
The events help promote Asian-Irish relationships through music, dance, culture and food. While the Lunar New Year is mainly a Chinese festival it is celebrated by many nationalities across the world and in countries including Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Mongolia and Brunei.
Cultural and arts happenings are plentiful with the Dublin Lunar New Year festival hosting events ranging from a symposium at Trinity College celebrating all things Sichuan, a street party in the north inner city, art and craft workshops at Hugh Lane Gallery and National Gallery and stand up comedy in the International Bar.
But of course, what we are most interested in is food and drink!
Chef and food writer Richie Castillo from Bahay is the festival’s ambassador this year and he joins food writer Mei Chin to discuss “What to Drink and When – cheering in the New Year” at Chester Beatty Library on Sunday 4th February to discuss the wonderful teas, juices, beers, wines and spirits of Asia.
Continuing the theme of drinks, drinks writer Oisin Davis hosts an 'Asian Kitchen Cocktails' showcase at Asia Market's Ballymount store on February 17th. This is a fun and interactive demonstration of creating great drinks using ingredients from the Asia Market. Attendees can sample five specially crafted Lunar New Year cocktails and mocktails, with the opportunity to purchase signed copies of Davis' lovely new book “Irish Kitchen Cocktails”
And what about food? Asia Market has that covered as well with a unique Culinary Crawl in Dublin; taking participants on a gastronomic journey through three of the city's top Asian restaurants. Beginning at Full Moon in Temple Bar for authentic Thai food, the crawl moves to Nan’s Chinese on Stephen Street Lower for lesser-known Huaiyang cuisine and concludes at Dalang on Dame Street with a traditional Korean BBQ experience. This takes place on Saturday 10th February.
The following day on February 11th, from 12 pm to 5 pm, Asia Market presents a 'Carnival of Cultures' celebration outside their city centre store on Drury Street. This family-friendly event features an outdoor market, traditional arts & crafts, food stalls, complimentary Dumplings from tuk-tuks, and in-store tastings. A highlight is the traditional ten-metre-long Chinese dragon, lion dance performances, and free kids' entertainment, including face painting and balloon artists.
Sunday 11th February is the Year of the Dragon Flagship Event at Meeting House Square Temple Bar. Meeting House Square will be transformed with incredible dragons from the Flower City and Lion Dance Association, crafts, music and performances from the Chinese, Korean, Mongolian and Taiwanese communities in Ireland
On the food front, there is everything from tasty Korean Bulgogi and traditional Filipino flavours from food traders Bahay and Seoul Kitchen.
Closing out the Lunar New Year festivities, Asia Market's Ballymount store hosts a 'Feast of Food Trucks' on February 24th and 25th, from 12 pm to 6 pm. Free to attend, the event showcases eight top Asian food trucks and vendors, including Ginger's BBQ, Bullet for Chinese Duck & dumplings, and Sonny's Korean Fried Chicken, set against a backdrop of Chinese hanging lanterns.
Throughout February many Chinese and Asian restaurants will be holding their own celebration nights and events so stay tuned to our social feeds for more eating and drinking opportunities!
Tickets for the Culinary Crawl Dining Experience and Asian Kitchen Cocktails can be booked at www.asiamarket.ie, follow their updates on Instagram and Twitter. At https://www.dublinlunarnewyear.ie/ you’ll find all the information on the cultural programme of events across Dublin.
Wishing you a fantastic Year of the Dragon!!