The Chinese New Year begins today and marks the start of The Year Of The Rabbit, a year which is meant to bring good times, good wine, good music, good company, and fun times.
Given that Ireland is suffering from the EU/IMF bailout, massive tax hikes, cuts in pay, and an economy in tatters, many would be happy to have the Chinese rabbit bring some joy our way.
Galway will experience and enjoy a taste of the Chinese New Year with a series of special events taking place in the city tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday.
“It’s going to be an unforgettable weekend,” said Catherine O’Brien of the Da Tang Noodle House. “We have participants coming over from abroad especially to take part, and there’s something for everybody from kite-making to Chinese calligraphy.”
The Galway Chinese Association is spearheading this celebration starting with the launch of the Chinese New Year at the Galway City Museum at 6pm.
The world-renowned teacher and practitioner of Chen-style tai chi, Master Wong Hai Jun will perform a brief tai chi demonstration at 6.15pm and Rachel Du, a Chinese classical violinist residing in Dublin, will perform an hour-long chamber music concert with her trio at 7.30pm.
Admission to the event is free and all are welcome.
Art and music lovers will also be well catered for over the weekend. Ruijun Hu, the Chinese artist, calligrapher, and flautist will play music at the Da Tang Noodle House today, tomorrow, and Saturday. He will also conduct a Chinese calligraphy display in Charlie Byrne’s bookshop on Saturday from 2pm to 4pm.
The Traditional Chinese Medicine Exhibition will take place in the Galway City Museum between 12 noon and 4pm on Saturday and will feature Chinese medicine practitioners from all over Ireland.
Two Chinese kite-making workshops, given by Jeffrey Tan, take place on Saturday February 5, at the Galway City Museum. For more information see www.galwaychina.com There will also be kite-flying for all ages on Sunday 6 from 2pm to 4pm at Southpark playing fields in The Claddagh. There will be plenty of prizes to be won.
Film fans can look forward to the Chinese film Tuan Yuan (aka Apart Together ) in the Town Hall Theatre at 6pm on Sunday. Directed by Wang Quan’an, the film won the coveted Silver Bear Award for Best Screenplay at the Berlin Film Festival. The film is being shown by the Galway Chinese Association and the Dublin Chinese Film Festival.
This new Galway festival has been established by the Galway Chinese Association. The association itself was established to cultivate, highlight, and promote cultural integration and develop extensive links between Chinese and other communities in Galway.
All proceeds of the weekend’s events will benefit Cancer Care West and Richard Flaherty, Cancer Care West CEO has expressed his gratitude to the Galway Chinese Association on this.
“Cancer Care West is delighted to be associated with the inaugural Galway Chinese New Year Festival and is very pleased to have been chosen as the beneficiary,” he said. “Cancer Care West serves all members of the community whose lives have been affected by cancer and is funded in large part by members of the community.”
Mr Flaherty said he was “delighted” that included that kite making workshops and kite flying were included in the programme of events.
“It is appropriate that Cancer Care West is part of this festival, as the kite forms a central part of Cancer Care West’s logo, which is designed to symbolise hope, freedom, and equality for all cancer patients and their families,” he said.
All proceeds raised from the festival will go towards funding Cancer Care West’s residence, Inis Aoibhinn, and its Cancer Support Centre on the Seamus Quirke Road, Galway.
“As all the services provided by Cancer Care West are made available to cancer patients and their families at no cost,” said Me Flaherty, “this is hugely welcomed and appreciated by Cancer Care West.”