Published on : Friday, August 11, 2017
Bendigo’s popular Easter Festival is a step closer to a new Chinese dragon to replace the beloved Sun Loong. Sun Loong has been the headline attraction of the Easter Festival since 1971, and has been a major contributor to tourism and local jobs in the region, with the long running festival attracting 60,000 visitors each year.
The new dragon is expected to be called Dai Gum Loong – ‘Big Golden Dragon’ – and at approximately 140 metres will be the longest dragon of its kind in the world, surpassing Sun Loong by around 40 metres.
Premier Daniel Andrews said, “Dai Gum Loong will attract visitors, boost local jobs and ensure the Chinese community’s proud history in Bendigo lives on.”
The 47 year old Sun Loong will be restored and preserved in an intricate process expected to take more than two years, before retiring to the Golden Dragon Museum in Bendigo.
In Chinese culture, dragons represent power, dignity, strength and wisdom, and they have been brought to life by dancers in processions and festivals for more than 1,000 years.
Victoria’s Chinese community is one of the state’s largest and most established cultural groups, and Bendigo plays a significant role in the community’s history. Chinese miners and merchants migrated to the region’s gold fields in the latter half of the 19th Century and have played a strong role ever since.