Large triangular green and red banners emblazoned with gold dragons were once a feature of the Bendigo Chinese Easter parade regalia. Today we were looking at two surviving examples from the collection in the archives which are not on public display.
The banner pictured above has an inscription dating it to the twenty second year of the reign of the Guangxu Emperor, which in the western calendar equates to 1896. It was made for the 大金山慶堂, the Big Gold Mountain [Bendigo] Celebration Hall.
This smaller banner is inscribed with the characters 大金山賽會, which mean Big Gold Mountain [Bendigo] Festival Society. This was the forerunner to the Bendigo Chinese Association which took over the running of the parade in the second decade of the twentieth century.
Dragon Banner (at left) being used in the 1940 Easter Parade. This possibly the smaller of the two surviving banners.
In each of these banners the dragon is chasing the flaming pearl, which is visible at the top left corner. This possibly represents the pursuit of wisdom. In a parade the dragon always follows the lead of a man carrying a pearl or a teaser on a pole, pursuing it and following where it goes.