February

Loong Imperial Dragon, China, c. 1880

Object: Loong Imperial Dragon

Materials: Head Body and Tail: papier mâché, bamboo, silk, cotton, mirrors, brass, feathers
Teaser: wood, silk, cane, wire, original restored
Flame, Huo: wood, silk, cane, wire, original restored

Place & date of creation: Head, Body and Tail: China, c. 1890
Teaser: China, c. 1880
Flame, Huo: Canton, China, 19th Century

Golden Dragon Museum, Bendigo, Australia
EMu user since 2009

february_small.jpgLoong, an Imperial (five claw) dragon, was made in the city of Fat Shan, China, and was first paraded in Bendigo in 1892. At  250 feet long, Loong was considered at that time to be the longest Imperial dragon in the world. At about 120 years of age, he is the oldest.

Loong was paraded in the Bendigo Easter Fair from 1892 to 1970, and was paraded in Melbourne on two occasions: in 1901 in the nation’s first Federation parade and again in 2001, to celebrate the centenary of Federation. Many of those who participate in the Chinese section of the Bendigo Easter Fair parades tell stories of how their father’s grandfather and great grandfather at some time carried the dragon. Loong retired in 1970 and a new dragon, Sun Loong, was brought from Hong to replace him.

Loong’s only home has been at Bridge Street, Bendigo, and he was first housed in the building known as the Chinese Elder’s House that now forms part of the Golden Dragon Museum. Loong and his associated regalia have been preserved as museum pieces since 1970.

Acknowledgements:  Reproduced courtesy of The Golden Dragon Museum, 5-11 Bridge Street, Bendigo, 3550 VIC