Chester will welcome the Chinese New Year of the Sheep on Saturday February 21 with traditional music, Lion and Dragon dancing and cultural characters the God of Prosperity, The Emperor of Heaven and The Happy Buddha taking to the city streets.
The Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese zodiac calendar and follows a 12-year cycle. People born in the year of the sheep are often said to be hard-working, pure-hearted, and loyal.
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.
Cheshire West and Chester Council sponsors the Wah Lei Chinese Association to celebrate the Chinese New 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.
Councillor Stuart Parker, Executive Member for Culture and Economy said: “please come and join us for this colourful Chinese New Year celebration as we welcome the Year of the Sheep.
“This is the sixth time that we’ve celebrated the Chinese New Year including the spectacular firecracker finale. The Year of the Sheep celebrations will take place in Eastgate Street with workshops taking place afterwards.”
Anthony Lee, committee member of the Wah Lei Chinese Association said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council to produce another colourful festival event for Chester and Cheshire to celebrate the Chinese New Year of the Sheep.
“We hope residents with their families and visitors will come join our many community volunteers that have worked hard to organise and provide cultural performances this year.”
The schedule for February 21:
10.45am – Eastgate Street and 11.30am Bridge Street – Tai Chi demonstration from the Tai Chi Chuan group, firecrackers, lion dance and dragon dance.
12 noon – Celebration Banquet and Cultural Performances at the Slowboat Chinese Restaurant on Frodsham Street. This is a ticketed event. Please email [email protected] for details.
The Wah Lei Chinese Association
The Wah Lei Chinese Association is based at Chester’s Unity Centre, and runs a Saturday Mandarin School in classrooms provided by the University of Chester for children at different levels.
It was founded by local Chinese people to foster, support and improve the well being of the Chinese community and help them integrate with the wider community in the area. ‘Wah Lei’ translates as people’s wellbeing.