Chester will celebrate the Chinese New Year of the Pig on Saturday, 9 February with a parade of traditional music, lion and dragon dancing, firecrackers and cultural characters.
The God of Prosperity, The Emperor of Heaven and The Happy Buddha will take to the city streets on Saturday morning in an event delivered by the Wah Lei Chinese Association supported by the council, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and the Slowboat Restaurant. Preparations are already well under way with rehearsals involving cultural dance, singing and martial arts performances.
The event begins at 10.45am on Eastgate Street and will include 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 together with a giant dragon to arrive at the Storyhouse at 12pm to kick off the cultural performances in the community space next to the restaurant until 1pm.
Councillor Louise Gittins, Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing said:
“I would like to wish everyone a very happy year of the Pig, please come along to Eastgate Street, and the Storyhouse for the annual celebrations that the council is pleased to support again.”
Mia Tan, Chair and Founder of the Wah Lei Chinese Association said:
“Our volunteers are working hard to prepare and practice their performances for the festival celebrations and in the Storyhouse. We are grateful to be working in partnership with the council, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the Slowboat Restaurant and the Storyhouse to produce this colourful celebration festival and are very grateful for their generous support.”
Jeremy St John Brown, Market Leader of Bank of America Merrill Lynch Chester said:
“We are proud of our workforce, championing diversity and inclusion is integral to our business, events such as this are important opportunities to recognise and promote diversity in our community. We look forward to being a part of what promises to be an enjoyable celebration and wish everyone a very happy Chinese New Year.”
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. Volunteers in traditional costumes will be distributing red packets, called “Hung Boas”, symbolising gifts of prosperity, which are filled with gold covered chocolate coins to children attending the festival at Eastgate Street.
A celebration banquet is planned after the parade at the Slowboat restaurant on Frodsham Street at 1.30pm. The banquet must be prebooked. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details or telephone the Slowboat 01244 317873 to book directly.
The Wah Lei Chinese Association is also supported by Cheshire, Halton and Warrington Race Equality Centre, the University of Chester, Chester Voluntary Action.