The Easter Fair and Bendigo’s Dragons
Dragons are traditionally used in China to celebrate special occasions such as the Lunar New Year, cultural festivals etc.
To register your interest in carrying our newest dragon – Dai Gum Loong – at this year’s Bendigo Easter Fair in 2023 please click on the button below.
The southern Chinese city of Guangzhou and its surrounding regions (Canton) are home to a rich dragon parade tradition that Cantonese migrants brought with them to Bendigo in the nineteenth century. In 1892 they obtained from China Bendigo’s first processional dragon for use in the annual Easter Fair, a charity fundraising event in which the Chinese community has been active in contributing a gala parade from 1879 to the present day. Bendigo’s dragon tradition has been continued to this day by the Bendigo Chinese Association and has become a part of our local culture and heritage of which Bendigonians of all backgrounds are proud and can participate in.
In 1991, the Golden Dragon Museum was built to preserve and display the collection of dragons and the history of the local Chinese community which have been their cultural custodians.
To participate as a dragon carrier, in 2023, a carrier must be over the age of 16 and it is an expectation that all Dragon Carrier participants will have reasonable cardiovascular/aerobic endurance and muscular strength. This year, The Bendigo Chinese Association will partner with Snap Fitness 24/7 Bendigo to conduct some free training/fitness sessions for dragon carriers on three Saturday’s prior to the Easter Fair.
In 2019, Bendigo’s new dragon Dai Gum Loong made a spectacular debut on the streets of Bendigo. In 2022, he was only able to appear at the front door of the Golden Dragon Museum due to inclement weather. This year, there is great excitement and expectation around Dai Gum Loong making his first solo appearance on the streets at the Bendigo Easter Festival.
Dai Gum Loong will be the highlight of The Bendigo Chinese Association’s participation in the Gala Parade to be held on Easter Sunday. Importantly, a new tradition has been created to allow Dai Gum Loong to be carried by both female and male carriers.
The Bendigo Chinese Association will parade Dai Gum Loong and be joined by eight visiting Chinese Associations and Performing Teams for a spectacular display.
DAI GUM LOONG 大金龍
(Big Gold Dragon)
Dai Gum Loong was brought from Hong Kong to replace Sun Loong in 2019. He was created by 雄獅樓 Hung C Lau Ltd workshop, a traditional lion and dragon builder. The mirrored scales, thousands of beads, and long skirts of his body are based on the Qing Dynasty style of his predecessor Loong, just like Sun Loong, keeping the lineage of these dragons unique and unseen anywhere else in the world. Before his first appearance in 2019 he was blessed and ritually brought to life in a traditional eye-dotting ceremony led by Mr Russell Jack AM Patron of the Golden Dragon Museum.
Dai Gum Loong is the longest Imperial style Dragon in the world, being over 120 metres in length, requiring 1 person to carry the head, 3 people to carry the neck, 62 people to carry the body, 1 person to carry the tail and at least 62 reliefs. Carrying the head of the dragon has always been considered a position of honour, being reserved for those with a long record of service and commitment to the Bendigo Chinese Association and the Golden Dragon Museum.
Dai Gum Loong requires at least 130 female and male carriers (including reliefs) and is approximately 120 meters long. He is covered in 7,000 scales, 100,000 mirrors, 60,000 beads, and his head weighs 28kg.
The Bendigo Chinese Association is delighted to partner with Snap Fitness 24/7 Bendigo to conduct free training/fitness sessions for registered dragon carriers only.
|When:||Saturday, March 18th 9–10am
Saturday, March 25th 9–10am
Saturday, April 1st 9–10am
|Where:||Snap Fitness, 71-73 Williamson Street, Bendigo|