A part of the living history of Melbourne’s Chinatown, these original dragon scales were part of the 100 metre-long Dai Loong —the Big Dragon— that was the centrepiece of the annual Chinese New Year Parade from 1979 to 2000.
The awakening and parade of the Dragon is the most auspicious occasion in Chinese customs heralding Chinese New Year, as the Dragon is sighted flying to the heavens to bring forth spring rains for China’s once agrarian society. The Chinese community in Melbourne have expressed their culture through Dragon processions and parades through the streets of Melbourne since the 1830s.
Melbourne Dai Loong was the first processional dragon made in China since 1949 and became a symbol of the return of traditional culture to China after the Cultural Revolution. The dragon design and manufacture of Dragons in China was resurrected by the Chinese Community of Melbourne.
The custodian of the Dragon Parade in Chinatown since 1979 has been the Melbourne Dai Loong Association Inc. The Dragons of Melbourne are on display at the Chinese Museum.