Over 500,000 people are expected to visit the events, which continue through to Friday in Chaoyang Park in the Chinese capital. The annual carnival is a highlight of Beijing’s Chinese New Year celebrations.
Beijing and Dublin were twinned in 2011, and the event is part of the Chinese New Year festivities in both cities. Ireland’s participation in the carnival is supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, through the Irish Embassy in Beijing.
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, said: “The invitation to be the Country of Honour demonstrates the rising interest about Ireland in China. These people-to-people contacts play a vital part in building our relations with China and strengthen the ties that recent political and trade visits have generated.”
Vibrant cultural performances will be provided by Galway-based theatre company Macnas, and by Jig: the Story of Irish Dance. Tourism Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and a number of Irish higher education institutions will be promoting tourism and education opportunities.