Sun Loong (simplified Chinese: 新龙; traditional Chinese: 新龍; pinyin: xīn lóng) is the Cantonese pronounce of "New Dragon". It is believed to be the longest imperial dragon in the world measuring approximately 100 metres (330 ft). An example of the dragons used in the traditional Chinese dragon dance. Sun Loong is in the city of Bendigo on permanent display at the Golden Dragon Museum.
Dragons are an important part of Chinese culture. Large processional dragons have been used in Chinese festivals for over a thousand years. After Chinese came to Bendigo in the 1850s for the gold rush many settled and later in the 1870s the Chinese community became a part of the annual Bendigo Easter Festival. It was in this parade that the local Chinese started bringing their old dragon dancing traditions, to Bendigo.
Bendigo has had Chinese dragons in the city since at least the 1890s. Grand processional dragons became a big part of the Easter Parade. By the late 1960s the dragon Loong (dragon) was getting older and an effort to raise money for a new dragon began. The Loong 100 Committee of local Bendigo businessmen were instrumental in raising the money for the purchase of Sun Loong. A traditional dragon maker was found in Hong Kong, the Lo On Kee (羅安記) owned by a man called Lo On (羅安). He agreed to build Bendigo the longest imperial dragon in the world.
Sun Loong was originally over 100 feet (30 m) long. Bendigo was very proud of the fact he was the longest imperial dragon in the southern hemisphere. However, in 1980 the Chinese in Melbourne purchased Dai Loong. A processional dragon they intended to be a few feet longer than Sun Loong. In response Bendigo ordered more length for Sun Loong and since this was achieved the dragon's official new length has remained a secret however the approximate length is currently 100 metres (330 ft) It is rumoured Sun Loong is 140m.
Sun Loong has 6,000 silk and papier-mâché scales, 90,000 hand-cut mirrors. James Lew, a 101-year-old Chinese elder brought Sun Loong to life by dotting his eyes with chicken blood in 1970.
- "BCA - Our Dragon Collection". Bendigochinese.org.au. Archived from the original on 2013-10-04. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
- Kevin Murray. "Bendigo's Year of the Dragon". Kitezh.com. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
- Worthington, Brett (2012-01-04). "Dragon has lived a long life". Bendigo Advertiser. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
- "Sun Loong 新龍". Facebook.com. Retrieved 2016-01-20.
- The Golden Dragon Museum. (2010). The 1880s Processional Regalia of the Bendigo Chinese Association. The Golden Dragon Museum. Bendigo. ISBN 978-0-9808006-0-9. pg 33