It’s going to be a big 2019 Chinese New Year in Bendigo. In one word – dragons!
Dragons are traditionally used in China to celebrate special occasions such as the Lunar New Year, and cultural festivals.
The Chinese festival marks the start of the new year, beginning on the second new moon after the winter solstice and ending on the full moon 15 days later. It is marked by visits to family and friends, special meals, fireworks, and gift giving.
The New Year greeting in Chinese is “xin nian kuai le” . The phrase literally means “Happy New Year.” But in Hong Kong and other Cantonese-speaking regions, it's more common to say “gong hei fat choy.” In Mandarin Chinese, it's “gong xi fa cai”. It means “congratulations on the fortune.”
If you check out other greetings or blessings, you’ll see that most are about, plentiful harvests, wealth and fortune, health and longevity, having children and large families. Food, money and health are things that everyone wants. Passing down the family name is of utmost importance.
A big 2019 Chinese New Year ahead in Bendigo
Bendigo’s Golden Dragon Museum is a hive of activity, getting everything ready for our new imperial style dragon Dai Gum Loong who will be making his debut appearance in the Gala Easter Parade.
Chinese New Year in Bendigo is all about dragons this year
Bendigo’s new dragon is a worthy successor to the retiring Sun Loong who was crafted in a traditional style to match his predecessor the imperial era dragon Loong.
He is covered in 7000 scales, 100,000 mirrors, 60,000 beads, and his head weighs 20 kilograms.
Dai Gum Loong’s first outing as a processional dragon will be at the Easter Sunday Gala Parade on April 21 this year, an exciting and historic event.
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Not only will the crowd get to welcome a new dragon, you can come and say farewell to Sun Loong at his final annual appearance.
But you will also be able to see all of the Bendigo Chinese Association’s and Golden Dragon Museum’s dragons on parade, including our heritage listed dragon Loong who has the distinction of being the oldest complete processional dragon in world.
In total, the dragons Loong, Sun Loong, Dai Gum Loong, Yar Loong, Gansu Loong, Ming Loong, Ping Loong, Siu Lock Loong, Choi Loong and Gwong Long will parade at the festival.
“I am so excited for Dai Gum Loong’s arrival and we thought there was no better way to welcome him than to plan this incredible celebration.
“It will be one of the best street parties Bendigo has ever seen,” Golden Dragon Museum general manager Anita Jack said.