Lifestyle & Culture

Chinese New Year 2017: Dispatches’ weekly weekend events guide for Europe

Happy New Year to our dearest Europe events guide readers!

Confused? No worries, for this weekend is start of the Year of the Fire Rooster on the Chinese calendar. Though we don’t have a Dispatches Asia (yet) to point the way to celebrations in China and Southeast Asia, you can still get in on the fun happening all over Europe!

Aside from a handful of such Chinese New Year festivities, we also have an upcoming fashion week in Barcelona, a Brazilian cinema festival in Berlin, and a hip hop ball in Vienna. Let’s go!

Amsterdam – Chinese New Year: Ring in the Year of the Fire Rooster in Amsterdam at Dam Square and the Nieuwmarkt/Zeedijk neighborhood (the city’s Chinatown) this Saturday!

The festivities begin around noon at the Fo Guang Shan He Hua Buddhist temple, followed by dragon and lion dances, workshops, music and tea ceremonies at De Bijenkorf on Sunday from noon to 18:00. Celebrations are set to conclude Monday with a lion dance at 18:00.

rita-row_014Barcelona – 080 Barcelona Fashion: This one starts on Monday, so this is your early notice: 080 Barcelona Fashion returns to Teatre Nacional de Catalunya for the 19th time 30 January through 3 February.

The biannual fashion week’s Spring/Summer 2017 edition will feature designers and houses such as Boboli, Txell Miras, and Custo Barcelona, who are expected to present “their most extreme collection for SS17” to Europe for the first time.

Though the catwalk is open only to industry insiders, the public can visit the 080 Fashion Market to shop the likes of Alèxia Grustan, PJ Barcelona and Oscarleon.

An exhibition by Manuel Bolaño, the production of “Dorian Gray. Beauty knows no mercy” by legend Pierre Cardin, and the inauguration of H&M’s Barcelona flagship store are also on the bill.

Nise-cartaz-1Berlin – Cine Brasil: Kicking off tonight and continuing into Monday, the 12th edition of Berlin’s Brazilian film festival, Cinebrasil, brings the best of Brazil’s Kinomachers to Cinema Babylon. Organized with help from the Brazilian embassy in Berlin, Cinebrasil “explores current topics and narrative techniques and aims to challenge stereotypes about Brazil by showing the nation’s diversity and cultural richness instead.”

This year’s selections include Nise: O Coração da Loucura, O Lobo Atraz da Porta, and Vidas Partidas.

Admission starts at 7€ per film.

d8cb8a51564a1820f6c64aBrussels – Chinese New Year Parade: This Saturday, the Chinese embassy in Brussels and the city’s government invite all to the Grand-Place for its annual New Year parade.

More than 400 performers from Belgium and China will march at 14:00 to the Bourse, where lion and dragon dances, wushu, fusion music and more will delight those attending the parade and show.

Admission is free.

Frankfurt – The Art of Aardman: Wallace & Gromit. Shaun the Sheep. Rocky Rooster. All belong to the minds behind Aardman Animation – Peter Lord, Nick Park and David Sproxton – and all are a part of the exhibition at The Deutsches Filmmuseum, The Art of Aardman.

The exhibition, celebrating more than four decades of Aardman’s claymation, runs through 29 January.

Production pieces, full sets, and selections from the private collections of Lord, Park and Sproxton are on display, demonstrating the studio’s creative process from start to finish.

Tickets for this temporary exhibition range from 4€ for little ones 6 and up, to 7€ for adults.

londons-chinese-new-year1London – Chinese New Year: Want to really ring in the Year of the Fire Rooster? London boasts the largest Chinese New Year festival outside of Asia, where hundreds of thousands of guests head to Chinatown, the West End and Trafalgar Square to wish each other Xin Nian Kuai Le (Mandarin) or San Nin Faai Lok (Cantonese).

The theme for this year’s celebration is “China: Today & Yesterday,” which — as it says on the tin — is all about Chinese culture from the past and present.

The festivities begin Sunday at 10:00 with a parade from Charing Cross Road to Shaftesbury Avenue, and end with a bang at Trafalgar Square beginning at 17:30. The full program for the day can be had here.

festivalautomobileinternationalParis – Festival Automobile International: The 32nd annual Festival Automobile International began in early December 2016 at Paris’ Les Invalides, and is set to conclude next Sunday.

The three-month long festival celebrates the beauty of the automobile, culminating with The Most Beautiful Car of the Year award, given to the winner based solely on aesthetics. Candidates for the 2016 award include the Alfa Romeo Giulia, Citroën CX3, and Volvo V90.

In addition, the final week will have an exhibition featuring concept cars like the Aston Martin RB001 and Renault Trezor.

Tickets range from free for little ones under 10 and the military, to 14€ for a single adult.


Stockholm – Finally It All Makes Sense: In the early 1990s, U.S. denim giant Levi’s held 75 percent of the European jean market. Italian brand Diesel wanted to challenge the status quo, linking up with advertising guru Joakim Jonasson and the world’s top photographers to create adverts whose messages made no sense on the surface, but did so on a subconscious level.

Decades later, Fotografiska’s latest exhibition, Finally It All Makes Sense, pulls together the nonsensical ad campaigns championed by Diesel and Jonasson from 1991 to 2001. The works LaChapelle, von Unwerth and Winther are on display, of course, but there are also contributions from Swedish photographers and film directors, such as Peter Gherke, Ulf Johansson and Jörgen Lööf.

The exhibition is set to close 12 February. Tickets range from free for little ones under 12, to 130 SEK for a regular ticket.

Vienna – Wiener HipHop Ball: Vienna’s ball season is in full waltz! This weekend’s selection, however, trades in classical strings for trap beats! The second annual Wiener HipHop Ball will take place on four floors of Kursalon Wien – “the palace where it all began – in the heart of the Viennese waltz from 20:00 Saturday night to “Six in the Mornin'”on Sunday (maybe; depends on when the after party ends).

Old school v. new school, MC battles, street art, it’ll all be there with feature acts Rose May Alaba and 9toFive, with the W.H.H.B All-Stars dropping rhymes and beats all night long, all night strong.

Tickets to the ball range from 55€ for college students (with access to the after party), to 119€ for a VIP experience.

As for what to wear, the usual ball attire will suffice. Black tie for men, formal dresses for women. You won’t get in without them. This may be a hiphop ball, but it’s still Vienna. Check out the video to see what one wears.

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