Have you met Bendigo's newest dragon - Dai Gum Loong?
The beautiful ornate dragon measures 125m long and has more than 7,000 handmade scales. Every year, Dai Gum Loong weaves through the streets of Bendigo at the Gala Parade during the Bendigo Easter Festival. On other days, you can see him at Golden Dragon Museum.
Dai Gum Loong is considered a water dragon, so the scales on the back of his neck and the blue fins around his face represent him morphing from a carp into a dragon. The mirror in the middle of his head is to ward off bad luck.
His cheeks feature the infinity knot symbol representing never-ending good luck, peony flowers to signify virtue, butterflies to symbolise long life and the longevity symbol, as the brief for the dragon maker was to create a dragon to last 100 years.
Dai Gum Loong also features two long horns like Bendigo’s other Golden Dragons Loong and Sun Loong, while the black and gold brocade on his head and tail represents the winding dragon path, as it is believed dragons should not walk in a straight line.
He was made in Hong Kong by celebrated dragon maker, Master Hui. Dai Gum Loong will be a champion for equality and start a new tradition for parading Golden Dragons in Bendigo, so women and men will be able to carry him. Previously only men had been able to carry Golden Dragons.