The world's oldest imperial dragon has made a rare appearance at the Bendigo Advertiser Gala Parade.
Loong, who started parading in Bendigo as early as 1901, was brought out of retirement for this year's Easter event in honour of the new dragon Dai Gum Loong.
The old dragon officially retired from the parade in 1970 when the city's new dragon Sun Loong was brought to Bendigo.But that wasn't the last year that Loong was on show.
In 2001, the old dragon performed at the celebration of the centenary of federation in Melbourne.
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He also made another appearance in Bendigo in 2012 when he performed in the Chinese New Year celebrations marking the Year of the Dragon.
Loong has a long history not only in Bendigo but also in other parts of the country.
He was present at the opening of Australia's first parliament in Melbourne in 1901, where he paraded on Spring Street in front of the visiting Duke and Duchess of York.
He also worked as the Bendigo Chinese Association's travelling dragon for many decades, performing in places like Adelaide and Echuca for charity events.
But the Bendigo crowd had missed Loong and they cheered loudly and applauded as the dragon carriers brought him down View Street and along Pall Mall.
The old dragon, who was made in the Chinese city of Foshan about 120 years ago, had to undergo restoration works to be deemed ready for this year's parade.
The thousands of scales that line his head and body were handmade from layers of mirrors, material, papier-mache, and kingfisher feathers back in the 1890s.
His head was also made out of a traditional bamboo frame.
Loong was placed on the Victorian heritage register in 2007 and had to receive approval from the Heritage Victoria to parade at this year's festival.
He also underwent restoration works in the lead up to the big day, with work done on his rare scales and the delicate structure of his face and neck.
But even with the possibility of rain ruining the big day, nothing was stopping Loong from returning to the Bendigo Easter parade.
As he did in 1970 when he passed on the reigns to Sun Loong, Loong paraded through the streets and then bowed to the new dragon Dai Gum Loong out of the front of the Alexandra Fountain.
The city's oldest surviving imperial dragon then led the other dragons back home to the Golden Dragon Museum.
He was returned to rest at the museum until the next grand occasion.
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