Chester welcomed the Chinese New Year of the Rooster on Saturday with a colourful festival parade.

Hundreds of shoppers, visitors and residents enjoyed a spectacular celebration led by a golden dragon and two colourful lions.

The festival included Tai Chi performances from Ji Siu based in Handbridge and a special poem written and read by teenager, Sabrina Li.

The parade started in Eastgate Street with the ceremonial waking of the lions.

The lions danced between the crowd and scaled up towards a balcony on the Rows to retrieve a red envelope from five-year-old Grace Tan and Mia Tan, chair and founder of the Wah Lei Chinese Association, which produced the festival event.

Video Loading

Mia said: “Thank you to Cheshire West and Chester Council for their support and to everyone who worked so hard to bring a wonderful celebration on a wet day. In Chinese culture, lettuce is shredded by the lion and scattered into the crowd as a gesture of sharing prosperity and good health. The colour red serves as a symbol of luck, and includes the red envelopes - a tradition used to pass forward good luck (and money) to the receiver. We are delighted to share our cultural heritage to help create harmony and peace in these interesting times we live in.“

Volunteers dressed as Chinese cultural characters handed out gold chocolate coins to children at the festival.

The parade continued to Bridge Street and ended at Town Hall Square.

The celebrations continued with cultural performances and a lunch banquet at the Slowboat Restaurant attended by the Lord Mayor of Chester Angela Claydon .