Chester will celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year of the Dragon on Saturday, February 10 with performances of traditional music, lions and dragon dancing, non-combustible firecrackers and cultural characters.
The God of Prosperity, The Emperor of Heaven and The Happy Buddha will be in the Chester city centre on Saturday morning in an event delivered by the Wah Lei Chinese Association and supported by Bank of America and Cheshire West and Chester Council, along with other local businesses including Marketing Projects, Sunflower Take away, Storyhouse and Panda Mami Restaurant.
The event begins at 11am in front of the Town Hall, Northgate Street. Maria Yuen from Ji Siu Tai Chi Chuan Group of Handbridge will kick off the celebrations. The Lions will be woken by representatives of Bank of America and the Cheshire West and Cheshire Council. The Hung Gar Kung Fu Academy with Steve Ornelas will lead the colourful Lions and Dragon dance and resume with another performance inside Storyhouse in Hunter Street at 12 noon. Tutors from Wah Lei Saturday Mandarin school based at the University of Chester and volunteers will deliver cultural workshops from 12.30pm to 2.30pm for the festival celebrations in Storyhouse. A celebration banquet with the Lions will take place at Panda Mami Restaurant, Newgate Street from 1.15pm. Pre-booking your table now is highly recommended.
Mia Tan, Chair and Founder of the Wah Lei Chinese Association said:
“Celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year Festival will include volunteer members who have been working for several months to produce the Chinese Lunar New Year Festival. This festival celebrates the commitment and hard work of all volunteers who have helped the group since 2009 delivering Mandarin language classes at the University of Chester campus. Our volunteer tutors continued to teach online and provide community support especially through the pandemic. I’d like to thank all our volunteers who have made a difference in breaking down racial and cultural barriers in the community. We are delighted to work in partnership with Bank of America, Cheshire West and Chester Council and other sponsors to produce this festival event.”
Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council said:
“What a perfect way to start the year with Tai Chi demonstrations, the waking of the Lion, The Happy Buddha and the return of the Chinese Dragon to the city centre. This is a celebration not to be missed. I would like to wish everyone a very happy year of the Dragon.”
Iwona Szmidt, Managing Director, Foreign Exchange & Commodities Operations and Derivatives Confirmation & Settlement and Chester Site Lead at Bank of America said:
“At Bank of America, we are proud to continue our longstanding support of the Chinese New Year festival. Championing the diversity of our workforce and the communities we serve is core to who we are as a company and how we drive Responsible Growth. We very much look forward to celebrating the Year of the Dragon with the people of Chester.”
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 twelve animals that came.
The Wah Lei Chinese Association is also supported by Cheshire, Halton and Warrington Race Equality Centre, the University of Chester and Chester Voluntary Action.
Please email Wahlei@btinternet.com for more details or visit Wah Lei Chinese Association Face book page.
https://youtu.be/NzfdHlVW0Qk in Bridge Street 2019
https://youtu.be/ilkAjyKyjtA in Storyhouse 2019
2016 celebrations https://youtu.be/i2MIg8wzvNI (David Sejrup)
2012 celebrations https://youtu.be/d-XzK70LB8o (Marketing Projects)