In 1879, a committee of Chinese residents organised the Chinese community’s first large scale participation in the annual Bendigo Easter Fair, an event to which individual members of the community had always donated goods and funds.
The first Chinese carnival and parade was a financial and popular success. Following this, the Chinese formed a permanent committee to organise their part of the Easter Fair and in 1881, obtained donations from over 800 local residents of Chinese background to purchase from China, a permanent collection of costumes and banners to use in the parade. In 1892 more money was raised to purchase the first parade dragon, which only added to the popularity of the annual charity carnival.
Today the Bendigo Chinese Association still raises money for Bendigo Health through its annual contribution to the Bendigo Easter Festival, and the parade dragon has become not only the highlight of the annual Gala Parade but also a beloved figure treasured by Bendigonians and visitors of all backgrounds.
As well as the significant entry in both the Torchlight Procession and Gala Parade, the Bendigo Chinese Association also present the Chinese Spring Festival and Awakening of the Dragon events that are held on the Dai Gum San precinct each year.
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The Bendigo Chinese Association will present the following events at the 150th Bendigo Easter Fair in 2022:
- 祝福 ZHÙFÚ - A Tribute to Bendigo Easter Fair - Saturday April 16
- 喜庆 XĬQÌNG – A Joyus Celebration - Sunday April 17
- Awakening of the Dragon - Sunday April 17
- Return of the Dragon - Monday April 18
The Bendigo Chinese Association also presents a significant entry of lion teams, dragons, dancers, regalia and more in both the Sherridon Homes Torchlight Procession and Bendigo Advertiser Gala Parade.
Dai Gum Loong, the world's longest Imperial dragon, will appear in the Bendigo Advertiser Gala Parade on Monday April 18.