EVENTS are planned in Chester to help usher in the Chinese New Year with colourful celebrations.
To celebrate the year of the horse, a variety of bright, colourful and traditional activities will be taking place in the city centre on Saturday, February 1.
There will be music, lion and dragon dancing and cultural characters such as the God of Prosperity, the Jade Emperor and the Happy Buddha taking to the city streets as part of a special parade.
The Chinese New Year is the longest celebration in the Chinese zodiac calendar and follows a 12-year cycle.
People born in the year of the horse are often said to be energetic, charming,
quick-witted, and kind.
Chinese legend states Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on New Year’s Day and named a year after each of the 12 that came.
Cheshire West and Chester Council sponsors the Wah Lei Chinese Association to celebrate the Chinese New Year and help bring the celebrations to life in the city.
Cllr Stuart Parker, executive member for culture and economy, said: “The colourful Chinese New Year celebrations are always a firm favourite with residents, shoppers and visitors to Chester.
“This is the fifth time they have been held in the city centre and afterwards workshops take place in Frodsham Street.
“I would urge everyone to come and see the year of the horse brought in, in fantastic style with music and costumes and something for everyone to enjoy.”
The celebrations will begin at 10.45am on Eastgate Street, where there will be music and an introduction to the cultural characters.
A Tai Chi performance with Maria Yuen and group volunteers will take place, as well as folk music and dancing with children from the Wah Lei Mandarin School and Chester Blue Coat Primary School.
This will be followed by waking the lion, firecrackers and a traditional dance through the city centre with the lion and cultural musicians before the parade ends outside the Town Hall at 11.30am with the lion dance.
Mia Tan, chairman of the Wah Lei Chinese Association said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council to produce another colourful festival event for Chester and Cheshire to celebrate the Chinese New Year of the horse.
“We hope residents with their families and visitors will come and join our many community volunteers that have worked hard to provide the cultural performances and martial arts, including dancing from our Saturday Mandarin schoolchildren.”
Following the city centre events there will be craft workshops, cultural performances and lunch at the Slowboat Chinese Restaurant on Frodsham Street at 12.30pm.
This is a ticketed event and anyone interested should email firstname.lastname@example.org