The midwinter gloom was blown away as Chester welcomed the Year of the Rat with a parade of traditional Chinese lion and dragon dancing.  The God of Prosperity, the Emperor of Heaven and The Happy Buddha took to the city streets on Saturday morning in an event delivered by the Wah Lei Chinese Association, supported by the council, the Bank of America and the Slowboat Restaurant.  

Lord Mayor Mark Williams and friends




Beginning on Bridge street with a Tai Chi performance from the Ji Siu Tai Chi Chuan group based in Handbridge, the busy crowds witnessed the Lion Dancers before the parade set off down Northgate street towards the Town Hall led by a colourful yellow dragon.

Enter the Dragon
Mia Tan, head of the Wah Lei organisation leads the parade along Northgate street


Lions and Dragon in Town Hall square
Finally the parade entered Storyhouse for more cultural dancing, singing, poetry recital, martial arts and a special performance with Tai Chi Panda. Mia Tan, chair and founder of the Wah Lei organisation spoke at the event thanking the sponsors and the team of 100 volunteers who made the event possible. She said that Chinese New Year was a celebration of “diversity, regeneration and renewal”. This year for ecological reasons the traditional firecrackers were replaced by audio effects and drumming.


Happy New Year!





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