Spending a few days in Bendigo catching up with family. Yesterday we toured the Golden Dragon Museum. We experienced a living history of the Chinese people in Bendigo.
The museum presents processional regalia, carved furniture and costumes embroidered with gold bullion thread. Artifacts date back as far as as the Shang Dynasty 1100-1500 BC.
In the 1890s an impressive Imperial dragon known as Loong was purchased from China by the local Chinese. He is now the oldest Imperial dragon in the world and is housed at the museum.
A new religion arrived in China from India in about the first century AD. This religion was Buddhism. The Chinese adapted and incorporated the new religion with the new gods into their culture, in the process creating their own stories.
In China Kuan Yin[The Goddess of Mercy] is usually depicted dressed in beautiful white flowing robes. Sometimes she is sitting or standing on a lotus flower, or riding a mythical beast such as a dragon. In this temple she is depicted carrying a fly whisk[a symbol of authority]and a pearl[represents purity and knowledge]. She is enthroned with one bare foot resting upon a lotus flower.
The flowers, fruit and food placed on the altar are offerings to honour her, incense is burnt to carry prayers to heaven. Kuan Yin's birthday, which is celebrated thrice annually-on the 19th day of the second, sixth and ninth lunar month.
A truely inspiring exhibition.