THE God of Prosperity, The Emperor of Heaven and The Happy Buddha took to the streets of Chester on Saturday morning as Chinese New Year was celebrated in the city.

A parade of traditional music, lion and dragon dancing, firecrackers and cultural characters featured in the event, delivered by the Wah Lei Chinese Association, to mark the Chinese New Year of the Pig.

Among the attractions were a Tai Chi demonstration from the Ji Siu Tai Chi Chuan group based in Handbridge, followed by fire crackers to wake the Lions to dance and parade through Chester city centre.

They arrived with a giant dragon to kick off the cultural performances.

The Chinese New Year is the 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.

Volunteers in traditional costumes distributed red packets, called 'Hung Boas', symbolising gifts of prosperity, filled with gold-covered chocolate coins to children attending the festival at Eastgate Street.

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