It’s interesting! You wait for a bus for ages and then three come along all at once.
I think the current week is like that for a lot of us. January has been a hard long month with very little to distract us and get us through, and now all in one week we have Chinese New Year, St Valentine’s Day, Pancake (Shrove) Tuesday and Ash Wednesday.
Some people may love these dates, others have no interest or no affiliation to them, but in ways they provide some relief and a distraction from the greyness of our recent weeks.
We here in Holding It Together Apart (HITA) are delighted to be including some fun and educational aspects to celebrate the coming events.
Friday 12th February sees Chinese New Year and welcomes in the year of the Ox.
An ancient culture with centuries of many dynasties, Chinese culture is as vast as it is deep and there are many fascinating areas to discover from arts and crafts including the history of porcelain and calligraphy, to music and literature such as the teachings of Confucius, to the culinary mastery of so much different foods and dishes.
Although we cannot gather to celebrate the OX there is a feast of information and programmes on line to learn and discover about the Chinese culture. Our partner, Asia Market and manager Eva Pau is running many educational videos on her site at www.asiamarket.ie
The Chester Beatty Library a renowned museum with a large Asian collection has their CNY programme up and running online this year and you can find details at https://chesterbeatty.ie/whats-on/?dates=this-week
There are two pre-recorded music events by a young Chinese-Irish musician Daimee Ng coming up on 12 Feb and they will have a number of workshops programmed for 18, 19 & 20 February all live on Zoom.
If you are interested in learning about the links between Ireland and China we recommend China and the Irish by Dr. Jerusha McCormack a fascinating read, and if you are looking to dive into some history Empress Dowager Cixi by Jung Chang captures the story of the last Empress of China who died in 1908 leaving a country forever changed. Check out https://www.facebook.com/DublinLunarNY/ for upcoming events from the Dublin Chinese Festival..
Once you have eaten your full of dumplings, dim sum, sweet and sour chicken and found your fortune in the cookie, its time to get ready for Valentines Day. Named after the Feast of St. Valentine (who’s remains lie in the Whitefriar Church on Camden St) it’s a day that is adored by some, abhorred by others. But the lovebirds of early Spring are connecting as everything is coming into bloom for those of you of the romantic disposition.
And once you have finished up all those chocolates and binging on Bridgerton, its time to get the eggs, flour and milk out to get pancaking. Fun for all the family and with so many fillings and toppings to try it will keep us all busy flipping our way into February.
These times are tough. For everybody this lockdown is bringing great challenges at so many levels, across so many spaces. While we encourage some fun with the above ideas we at HITA are aware how many of us need support and relief. Reach out and talk to each other, seek professional support and help if you need it and try out a number of the many classes and workshops we have on this website.