AWAKENING THE DRAGON
Every Easter Bendigo holds it's Easter Festival. It is the oldest festival (started in 1871) in Australia with it's origins linked to the gold fields.
On Easter Sunday the awakening of the dragon ceremony is held. This is lots of fun. It is held adjacent to the Chinese Dragon Museum.
Arrive early if you want a seat, otherwise be prepared to stand for over 2 hours, as we did.
The purpose of this is to wake the sleeping dragons so they can take part in the Easter Monday Gala Parade. Lots of lion dancing from the local community as well as a very talented Melbourne team make for a very entertaining afternoon.
If you come from Melbourne, this magnificient fountain'll be one of the first gold rush structure to greet you when you approach the town centre.
Erected in 1881 with funds received from the Sandhurst Juvenile Industrial Exhibition, the Alexandra Fountain has become a landmark of Bendigo, along with the Shamrock Hotel.
Guess what, the fountain was built on the banks of Bendigo Creek which is diverted beneath the road.
Didn't manage to catch the "spitting" horses at the bottom of the fountain into the pic.
Established in 1901, the Conservatory Garden is where Australia's oldest glass hothouse located. There are plenty of statues and monuments in the garden. Colourful floral displays are on most of the year, even in winter as you can see in the pic, there're tulips blossoming. :)
Bendigo Joss House
Bendigo Joss House (though I hadn't heard of it before)
It's fairly small, not much fanfare or advertising, and I think run by volunteers, though it is also National Trust Classified (which helps with preservation)
But despite this, I found out about it, and it was well worth the visit!
In fact I couldn't believe I'd never heard of or seen it before, as it's one of the only remaining authentic Chinese joss houses left in Australia! (dating from the late 1800's goldfields time)
You can see others, but they're either replicas or have been moved and reconstructed, for the most part.
The Joss house consists of two main rooms, and I think a small connecting room as well.
Here we have the altar in the main room.
And in the smaller room...
Beside the alter.
These stone tablets I believe are original (though some had become damaged or vandalised and had to be put away)