Saturday – nice, mostly sunny day, but we can feel autumn in the air. They call it autumn, not fall. Although there are plenty of deciduous trees around that are certainly changing colours and losing their foliage. I am about ready to bake a turkey and have a Thanksgiving party. But it’s Easter and I guess this is what Australians think of when we mention Easter bunnies and choccies. Here in Bendigo, they celebrate Easter with a huge Chinese cultural party, complete with the oldest dragon (in the nation?). The Chinese community had a very large part in settling these areas when gold mining brought Europeans to Australia to seek their fortune. In this city, there is a beautiful Chinese museum and garden area.
So we wandered downtown and took in all the celebrations, starting with a walk in Roslyn Park where all kinds of children’s activities had been set up. There was an exhibition of old VW’s and one of the old cars made so much noise the bats in the trees were quite distressed. From there we walked around town and stopped, appropriately, at the Noodle Box for a box of Asian noodles as a quick lunch. We got to the museum in time to see the Lion dance. There were several dance troupes that showed their best form. The lions are made up of 2 people, front and hind legs. But the trick is that the hind leg guy has to carry the front leg guy on his shoulders to show the lion standing on his hind legs and using his front paws. It looks difficult and very impressive. The whole point of this dance is to awaken the dragon by making lots of noise.
After the dancing, we continued toward the outdoor stage for a little blues and a beer at the Irish Pub. Some people were dancing in the street in front of the stage, but it was just a quiet crowd, enjoying the sun and the music. There are fireworks this evening to complete the celebrations.