The dragon dance kicked off the festival.
Pearl milk tea cake, handwritten Spring Festival couplets, various Taiwanese desserts and publications
Booths of TCMLI and TIA
The 2023 Lunar New Year celebrations in Dublin, Ireland, kicked off in mid-January. The well-known Asia Market held a family-friendly festival celebrations on Drury Street in Dublin on January 29.
An eye-catching, ten-meter-long dragon dance kicked off the festival, accompanied by the sound of oriental music and the aromas of Asian cuisines. Drury Street was turned into a street market with several stalls offering traditional Asian arts and crafts, free dumpling tasting, "Year of the Rabbit"-themed steamed buns, and a variety of bubble teas; there were also various free events within Asia Market, including face painting, balloon art, origami workshops, and much more.
Evan Furlong, the Director of Dublin School of Mandarin Chinese and Taiwan Center for Mandarin Learning in Ireland TCMCI, was invited to showcase Taiwanese culture. For the event, Director Furlong personally sponsored 150 handwritten Spring Festival couplets, fortune cookies, and the epitome of popular Taiwanese food culture — bubble tea cakes. At the event, promotional materials and registration links to the Taiwan Center for Mandarin Learning in Ireland were also available for those interested in learning Chinese.
Speaking about Taiwan's world-famous bubble tea, Director Furlong remarked that while it was a relatively new addition to Ireland with the first shop opening in 2012, it has now taken the Irish market by storm with many shops offering this drink popping up nationwide. Many bubble tea providers are attached to restaurants with many running as a cafe with cakes and waffles on offer. But some are dedicated tea shops, serving up an excellent variety of the delicious tea. There's no better way to show off Taiwan but with a cute bubble tea cake made by cake artist Connie from #cookie_mom_ster.
Syue-Ping Ma, an instructor at Dublin School of Mandarin Chinese and Taiwan Center for Mandarin Learning in Ireland, was invited to hold an origami workshop on the same day for the festival-goers, where the latter learned to fold a rabbit to represent the Year of the Rabbit. Through this fun activity, festival-goers learned about Asian culture and immersed themselves in the festive atmosphere of the Lunar New Year.
The Taiwan Ireland Association (TIA) was also invited by Director Furlong to showcase Taiwanese Culture. The newly elected Chairperson of TIA Sonia Lin, Vice Chair Ruby Su, and Publicist Eric Lin were in attendance. Chairperson Lin thanked all for joining in an afternoon of cultural and social exchange and wished all peace and good health in the Year of the Rabbit.
To tickle the taste buds of our international friends, the Taipei Representative Office in Ireland sponsored a stall offering the "Twelve Treasures of Taiwan", which included high-quality Taiwanese snacks such as peanut candy, rice cakes, red bean mochi, pearl milk tea popcorn, garlic-flavoured green beans, etc. Magazines introducing Taiwan, such as Taiwan At A Glance, Taiwan Review, and Taiwan Panorama, as well as commemorative badges representing the friendship of Taiwan and Ireland were also available for all festive-goers.
It is hoped that through this wonderful and memorable event that the Taiwanese diaspora in Ireland can relieve their nostalgia for home, and more importantly, that it promotes Taiwan through Taiwan's tasty foods, beautiful scenery, and human warmth.