Dragons to parade streets this weekend

March 28, 2024 BY

A big undertaking: Three dragon processions will take place this weekend, including the joyous parade on Saturday morning, the torchlight procession on Saturday night, and the gala parade on Sunday. PHOTO: FILE

EASTER in the city would not be complete without the contribution from the Bendigo Chinese Association (BCA) who each year bring hundreds of volunteers together to parade the dragons.

Dai Gum Loong, the association’s newest and largest dragon, requires 130 people alone to be carried, in addition to the volunteers needed to carry the dragon’s regalia.

Doug Lougoon, president of the BCA, said carrying the dragon is a big undertaking and this year the association is encouraging volunteers to bring a friend to share the load with.

“Dai Gum Loong is a bigger dragon than Sun Loong, who was our dragon from 1972 to 2019, so in essence Dai Gum Loong is 20 per cent bigger,” Mr Lougoon said.

As Sun Loong made it through 50 years of processions, Dai Gum Loong was designed with a similar longevity in mind.

The new dragon was also made to be carried by all genders, which was not always the case with the processional dragons.

“The tradition was that Loong and Sun Loong were only carried by men and we’ve stuck with that tradition, but Dai Gum Loong was deemed through the association the equal opportunity dragon,” Mr Lougoon said.

Dai Gum Loong will only come out for the gala parade on Easter Sunday and will be accompanied by a lead section, military, philosophy, and princess sections, as well as dragon attendants and traditional music.

Three other dragons will

parade over the weekend, including Gong Loong, which Mr Lougoon said is the shiny dragon and is also carried by both men and women.

Ya Loong, the night dragon, which has been performing since the 1930s, will come out for the torchlight procession on Saturday night and will precede Dai Gum Loong at the gala parade.

At the time of writing, the BCA still needed 30 to 40 more volunteers to carry Dai Gum Loong.

Anyone interested in being a part of the procession can register by going to the Golden Dragon Museum.

“We do register right up until the day, even though the registrations will cut off online on Thursday,” said Mr Lougoon.

Times of all the processions happening across the Easter festival can be found on the BCA website at bendigochinese.org.au