Festivals, Fireworks and Parades
Chinese parade costume, circa 1880s, silk, cotton, gold thread. Image by Jary Nemo.Contributors
This item has been released by the collection holder to foster Victoria's cultural and creative life. If using, please attribute the photographer Jary Nemo and the collecting institution Golden Dragon Museum.Copyright
Copyright in photograph with Jary Nemo.
The sights and sounds of Chinese festivities were an integral part of goldfields social life.
Goldfields communities quickly became accustomed to the fireworks, feasts, rituals and traditional dances of important Chinese festivals such as Chinese New Year, the Sticky Rice Festival or Dragon Boat Festival, and Qingming, or Ancestors Day.
Chinese residents proudly participated in community festivities. Chinese parades were common features of events such as the opening of a railway station or the commemoration of a Royal Anniversary.
Chinese community members would parade in fine costume, hand made in China and imported at the community's expense. On festive occasions community members would perform traditional dragon and lion dances.
The parade costume pictured here was made in China and imported by the Bendigo Chinese community in the 1880s. It was used in parade festivities, for theatrical performances, for fundraising events and for entertainment until the 1930s. Parade costumes from Bendigo were shared with the Beechworth, Ballarat, Ararat and Melbourne Chinese communities for use in their parades as well.
With thanks to the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka 'Chinese Fortunes' curator Cash Brown.