Enjoy a warm welcome to Dublin Lunar New Year 2023 from President Michael D. Higgins, Lord Mayor of Dublin Caroline Conroy, our wonderful Ambassadors and Embassy Representatives. 

President Michael D. Higgins

May I send my best wishes to all those participating in the Dublin Lunar Year 2023 Festivities as you welcome in the Year of the Rabbit on 22nd January.

I am delighted that this important cultural festival continues to grow each year, now encompassing all communities who celebrate the Lunar New Year, including Brunei, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, North Korea, Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam.

The rabbit represents sensitivity, intituition and inner peace, promising a period of mindfulness and reflection. Such qualities are needed more than ever during our turbulent times as we seek the creation of a peaceful world and a just and inclusive society.

May I thank all those communities who celebrate the Lunar Year for the valuable contribution you make to our ever-evolving Irish nation, doing so with generosity, as we create the rich interwoven tapestry that is contemporary Irish society.

I wish you a happy and peaceful new year.

Caroline Conroy

Lord Mayor of Dublin

As Lord Mayor of Dublin, I am delighted to send my best wishes to you all as you celebrate the commencement of the Year of the Rabbit. I wish to extend my warmest wishes to members of the Asian community in Ireland and everyone celebrating the Lunar New Year.

Representing gentleness, patience and responsibility, the Rabbit embodies many characteristics that we can hope to emulate as we prepare for the coming year.

Those born under this sign are also known for their ambition and intuition, being good listeners, kind and sweet by nature, making Rabbits popular and trusted friends.

For the past 15 years, this festival has platformed Asian culture with a vibrant cultural programme for all ages to experience.  It’s a testament to all involved at how it continues to grow from strength to strength each year. 

I encourage everyone to explore the exciting variety of events taking place across Dublin city for Year of the Rabbit. It’s an opportunity to celebrate the communities who make Dublin the wonderfully diverse and multicultural city it is today.


Mei Chin

Festival Ambassador 

As this year’s Lunar New Year ambassador, I am honored to welcome everyone to Dublin’s Lunar Year of the Rabbit. 

This year of the Rabbit is predicted to be full of luck and hope. 

In mythology, twelve animals were asked to race. The Rabbit arrived in fourth place, shortly after the Tiger, and beating the powerful Dragon, Snake, and Horse.  Those people born in the year of the Rabbit are charming, mischievous, amorous, and exhibit athletic prowess. In short, Rabbits are great craic, which makes them a marvelous animal to start this year.

There are different rituals for Lunar New Year, particular to each country’s culture. One might eat a fish toss, a hot pot, banh chung, dduk, or dumplings. There are varied games, and money that may be circulated in red or white envelopes. 

What is the thread that connects Lunar New Year and the countries that celebrate it? For all of us, Lunar New Year is about homecoming. Home is vital. Home is where our parents, uncles and aunts dwell. It is the one time of the year where people can take two weeks off; in the past, it could take you many days to travel back to your family seat. 

I am ethnically Chinese, born in the United States and have lived in Ireland for a decade. I have been thrilled to see the Asian communities in Ireland blossom. Home for many of us, is now rooted in this country. We are delighted to embrace our homecoming, on this holiday, here.  

Gong xi fa cai!


He Xiangdong

Ambassador of China to Ireland

The Lunar New Year Festival embodies Chinese people’s pursuit of a better life and a better world. Changes of the world and of our times are now unfolding in ways like never before. In this global village, all countries are interdependent and part of a community with a shared future. In the face of the common challenges, all of us are called on to display confidence and embrace solidarity. 

This is the 16th year for Dublin City Council to organize the Dublin Lunar New Year Festival, which serves as a good platform to promote culture exchanges and mutual learning. I am convinced that the diverse celebrations will greatly enhance friendship and mutual understanding between Chinese and Irish peoples.

In Chinese culture the year of Rabbit is a year of peace, success, prosperity and elegance. I wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!


Ann Derwin

Ambassador of Ireland to China

I send my best wishes to everyone celebrating the Lunar New Year in Ireland. Happy Year of the Rabbit!

I am delighted that the Dublin Lunar New Year Festival is once again marking the occasion with a diverse set of events. The festival’s programme, from food, to poetry, film and craft, offers a fascinating insight into societies across Asia. 

The Lunar New Year celebrations in China remind me of the similarities between Irish and Chinese cultures. In China, the Lunar New Year is a time when many people return to their home towns to celebrate with family, much like how Christmas and New Year in Ireland are important times for families to come together. I know too how significant this time of year is for many other countries and cultures, and warmly welcome their ongoing inclusion in the Dublin Lunar New Year Festival.

The confidence and resilience associated with the Rabbit are valuable attributes for the challenges we currently face. Insight into other cultures through film, art and story-telling are rich sources of inspiration, and the Dublin Lunar New Year Festival provides a wonderful opportunity to explore the rich cultures of Asia.

I send my warmest greetings for the Year of the Rabbit to those celebrating at the festival; and my best wishes to all for a happy and healthy 2023.


Ki-hwan Kweon

Ambassador of Korea to Ireland

Happy Lunar New Year from the Korean Embassy in Ireland!

I’d like to say a special thanks to Dublin City Council for their recognition of this wonderful celebration that further fosters mutual understanding between Irish and Asian cultures. 

Traditionally, families gather from all over Korea at the house of one of their relatives to pay their respects to both ancestors and elders. The essence of the holiday is the custom of ancestor worship, but there are other activities including eating together, playing games and “Sebae” where children bow to their elders and receive small gifts.

Similar to Christmas here, it is a rare chance for people to simply catch up on each other’s lives, and have fun. 

In that spirit, I wish everyone a joyous Lunar year, and I hope that everyone enjoys the festivities as we celebrate the year of the Rabbit!

Athbhliain Lunar faoi mhaise daoibh go léir.


Michelle Winthrop

Ambassador of Ireland to Korea

Happy Lunar New Year from Korea!

In Korea, the Lunar New Year festival is known as Seollal, and at this time people travel to visit their families to celebrate the beginning of the new year together. Celebrating in person hasn’t been easy for the last number of years so I am delighted to see the extensive programme prepared to mark the beginning of the Year of the Rabbit.

I hope that everyone celebrating, both in Ireland and in Korea, has a happy and peaceful Lunar New Year and enjoys the festival! 새해 많이 받으세요!

Nadzira Abd Razak

Chargé d’affaires a.i. Embassy of Malaysia in Ireland

Happy Chinese New Year from the Embassy of Malaysia in Ireland!

Our heartiest congratulations to the Dublin City Council for organising the much anticipated 2023 Dublin Lunar New Year Festival. 

Chinese New Year is widely celebrated in a multicultural country like Malaysia. The celebration would cause the ‘balik kampung’ rush where Malaysians regardless of their race and faith would visit their hometowns and celebrate the Chinese New Year holiday with family and friends. The fiery red coloured banners and decorations, the abundance of mandarin oranges and red envelopes of money, the crashing sound of cymbals and the addictive beat of the gongs and drums during a traditional lion dance performance, the crackling of firecrackers in the neighbourhood, the fireworks blossoming like flowers in the night sky and Gong Xi Fa Cai  or Kong Hee Fatt Choy being exchanged as people wish each other joy and prosperity in the New Year were all part of the sights and sounds of a Chinese New Year celebration in Malaysia.

Thus, it brings us great joy to see Dublin embrace the Lunar New Year celebration and we look forward to the programmes and activities planned throughout the 2023 Lunar New Year Festival.

Happy Chinese New Year to all who are celebrating it, in particular to the Malaysian community in Ireland. May the Year of the Rabbit bring good health and happiness along with many opportunities your way, and may all your efforts turn into great achievements!


Hilary Reilly

Ambassador of Ireland to Malaysia

Greetings from the Embassy of Ireland in Kuala Lumpur.

I wish to extend my warm congratulations to Dublin City Council on the occasion of the sixteenth Dublin Lunar New Year Festival.

The Lunar New Year is widely celebrated here in Malaysia, and it is one of Malaysia’s biggest holidays. It is great to see the Lunar New Year also celebrated in Ireland. Events such as this Festival help to strengthen the links between people around the world, as well as helping to foster inter-cultural understanding.

I send my best wishes to everyone celebrating the Lunar New Year in both Ireland and Malaysia, including, in particular, Malaysians in Ireland. May the Year of the Rabbit bring health, happiness, peace and prosperity. Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Sarah McGrath

Ambassador of Ireland to Singapore

‘Happy lunar greetings from Singapore to all of you celebrating the Lunar New Year in Ireland!

A new chapter begins in 2023 for us with the year of the Rabbit, one of the twelve Zodiac animals that symbolises peace, prosperity, and luck in Chinese culture. I am told that those born in the Year of the Rabbit are known to be incredibly imaginative and innovative so we can look forward to an exciting year ahead, rich in possibilities.

Despite the worldwide pandemic, innovation has continued to thrive in Ireland and here in Singapore and we look forward to this continuing and indeed growing throughout 2023. Appropriately for island nations like Ireland and Singapore, this year is a Water Rabbit year – something which only comes round every 6 decades.

All of us here at Ireland House in Singapore wish everyone a happy and prosperous Lunar New Year, and with the right stroke of luck from this Rabbit year, may you succeed in all your endeavours!’


Pádraig Francis

Ambassador of Ireland to Indonesia and to ASEAN

Greetings and best wishes from the team at the Embassy of Ireland in Jakarta to all who celebrate Lunar New Year in Ireland.

Known here as Imlek, the Lunar New Year is a time of great celebration in Jakarta, as it is throughout Indonesia and Southeast Asia. 

The celebration of the Lunar New Year is one of the new links between our countries, and indeed between our continents.  As travel throughout the world has become easier, I hope that more Irish people can enjoy Imlek in Indonesia, and that Indonesians can enjoy it in Ireland.

Gong Xi Fa Cai!