Chinese New Year festival goes on despite coronavirus concerns

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Brian Adam
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Chinese New Year celebration in Ireland went ahead despite concerns over the spread of the coronavirus.

In Dublin the former Victorian Fruit and Vegetable Market building was reopened for a two day Spring Fair Festival.

Yang Zhang – who hosts the festival’s food tours – said that stall holders had been advised to take precautions such as hand sanitisation and to cover their mouths while coughing or sneezing.

But she said there had not been any travellers recently arriving from China.

She said most Chinese people in Ireland are from the North or Fujian province in the South East. The city of Wujan is in the Central region.

The festival in the market building which is running again tomorrow consists of food stalls and performances of dance and music as well as Tai Chi.

There is also a workshop on making a Chinese arch out of recycled material to encourage discussion about a Dublin Chinatown. There is a long running debate on whether to have an official Chinatown in Dublin.

While Google marks Parnell St as Dublin’s Chinatown, these districts are usually marked by an arch. Dublin City Council has resisted the designation in the past.

Part of the problem according to festival organiser Aimeé van Wylick is that there are a number of other nationalities on the street who may feel excluded.  

The Spring Festival which is part of Dublin’s New Year Festival celebrations will run until 10 February. This year is the Year of the Rat which is the start of the Chinese horoscope cycle and which is predicted to a time of ambition and renewal.