The Lunar New Year is always a very special event for us because it's the main time of year that all of our Chinese relatives traditionally get together to eat, drink, laugh and celebrate!
Since this year is the Year of the Dog, we couldn't resist the opportunity to take some themed photographs of Elsa...
Chinese New Year in Chester!
We normally prefer to avoid the crowds and meet up at a relative's house for a big meal to celebrate but, since this is a particularly special year, we decided to do something a little different and we went to Chester to watch the Chinese New Year parade! (Thank you to PaB Pack member Kobee for the recommendation!)
Full details for the event were easy to find on Facebook by simply searching for 'Chinese New Year Chester'.
The event was hosted by Wah Lei Chinese Association and one of the highlights was a lion dance performed by The Liverpool Hung Gar Kung Fu Friendship Association. Luckily we managed to get a few pictures of Elsa with some of the performers before the main show!
Chester's street layout is ideal for watching something like this because you can stand on the balcony area of Chester's famous 'Rows', and get a great view. This is the first time that I have seen a full lion dance in the UK and it was so colourful, energetic and enjoyable to watch. We huddled up in a little corner with Elsa, slightly anxious about how she would react to the sound of the drums but she was actually incredibly relaxed and even barked along with the cheering crowd when they started clapping!
A word of warning: The firecrackers that they set off at the end were very loud and did give Elsa (and me) a bit of a fright when they began popping! Fortunately Elsa is not anxious around fireworks and she was fine, but in future we'll probably avoid this last part of the show if we go again.
[We definitely would not recommend taking dogs to events like this if they are generally anxious around crowds or loud noises.]
It was a particularly busy day in Chester because, along with the Chinese New Year celebrations and a troupe of Morris dancers, The Mercian Regiment Freedom Parade was also marching through the city streets!
[Picture] Elsa watches the Morris dancers, wearing her special Chinese New Year bandana from Peach & Pooch. (I accidentally bought the wrong size for her collar, but we made the most of it as a little flag on her lead!)
This coffee shop is still as lovely as we remembered it to be, if not better! It certainly was much busier, so word about this hidden gem has clearly got out!
For brunch we enjoyed generous portions of pancakes & bacon, french toast and eggs Benedict, washed down with perfectly poured flat whites - absolutely heavenly!
We've had such fun celebrating Chinese New Year with our family this weekend. It feels a little bit like Christmas but without all the build up and expectation - I find it much more relaxing: a fabulous excuse to eat, drink and be merry!
I have a feeling that the Year of the Dog is going to be a good one...