A whole host of events have been planned across Chester for the city’s Chinese new year celebrations. 

The Year of the Dog will be celebrated on Saturday, February 17 with a Tai Chi demonstration, traditional lion and dragon dancing plus firecrackers.

The God of Prosperity, The Emperor of Heaven and The Happy Buddha will oversee the celebrations, which start at Storyhouse at 11am before moving to Eastgate Street at 12.30pm.

The Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese zodiac calendar and follows a 12-year cycle.

Chinese legend states that The Emperor of Heaven asked all the animals to meet him on New Year's Day and named a year after each of the 12 animals that came.

People born in the year of the Dog are said to be independent, sincere, loyal and decisive, according to the Chinese zodiac. 

Cheshire West and Chester Council is supporting the Wah Lei Chinese Association to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Councillor Jane Mercer, Sheriff of Chester, will join the celebrations through the city centre.

Cllr Mercer said: “Gong Xi Fat Cai, I would like to wish everyone a very happy year of the dog, please join me at Storyhouse and Eastgate Street to share the special activities.”

Mia Tan, from the Wah Lei Chinese Association, said: "Please join us celebrating the Chinese New Year of the Dog.

“Thanks to our many community volunteers that have worked hard to organise and perform in this year’s cultural celebrations. We are working again in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council to give an explosive start to the year.”

The Wah Lei Chinese Association is also supported by Cheshire, Halton and Warrington Race Equality Centre, the University of Chester, Chester Voluntary Action, the Slowboat Chinese Restaurant and Wah Lei volunteers.

The February 17 celebrations will see cultural dancing take place at Storyhouse from 11am, with the lion dance, dragon dance and firecrackers beginning at 12.30pm on Eastgate Street.

A special banquet lunch takes place after the celebrations at the Slowboat Restaurant (pre-booking is required). 

The University of Chester will also celebrate Chinese new year.

On Thursday, February 15, between noon and 3pm, a Chinese new year fair is being organised on the university’s Parkgate Road Campus. Chinese food and tea stands, paper cutting, and Chinese character writing are just some of the delights on offer.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to take part in traditional Chinese new year games and activities.

The events have been organised through the university’s China centre. 

The fair takes place in the Small Hall and is open to the general public as well as staff and students. Tickets are free but must be booked by contacting chinacentre@chester.ac.uk.