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Bendigo's new imperial dragon Dai Gum Loong has taken part in his first Easter parade, in an event many have been waiting years to see.
The spectacular dragon has now taken over from Sun Loong, who after 50 years is retiring.
Dai Gum Loong - 'big golden dragon' - made his way along the creek from Girton Grammar School to Bath Lane, accompanied by the Hong Kong Hung C Lau South Lion Team.
At View Point he greeted his predecessors Sun Loong and Loong, as well as night dragon Yar Loong.
They together followed the remainder of the Bendigo Advertiser Gala Parade route to the Golden Dragon Museum.
Dai Gum Loong was greeted with much excitement from the crowd.
While waiting in Bath Lane to meet his fellow dragons he was the subject of plenty of attention from onlookers, many of them keen to get a photo with him.
Not only is he new, Dai Gum Loong represents a cultural shift: he is the first of Bendigo's processional dragons to be carried by women as well as men.
Far longer than even his once-record holding predecessor, Dai Gum Loong measures 125 metres long, contains more than 7000 scales, and has a head that weighs 27 kilograms.
Read more: The history of Bendigo's Chinese dragons
The dragon arrived in Bendigo earlier this month, having been flown over from Hong Kong flat-packed before being assembled once in the city.
Dai Gum Loong was brought to life on Good Friday in a traditional eye-dotting ceremony.
With his intricately-decorated head and thousands of scales, it could come as a surprise that Dai Gum Loong took less than a year to create.
His maker, Master Hui Ka-hung at the Hung C Lau workshop in Hong Kong, was granted the contract to create Dai Gum Loong just last May.
But planning for Sun Loong's successor was taking place long before that.
It was in 2008 that it was realised Sun Loong was nearing retirement age.
Then eight years later, an assessment drove home the need for a new dragon, and the official campaign to raise enough money to both make and transport Dai Gum Loong, as well as restore Sun Loong, was launched.
The goal was to raise $750,000, but this was exceeded when the community contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars, the City of Greater Bendigo gave $100,000, and the state and federal government's each granted $250,000.
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