Chinese New Year Every January ~ Las Vegas Celebrates
Chinese New Year On January 23, 2012 Was The "Year Of The Dragon"
Las Vegas enjoys celebrating Chinese New Year every year, as one of the five different annual celebration displays that are hand-crafted in the Conservatory Botanical Gardens at the Bellagio Hotel. The 2012 display was especially creative and colorful. While at the Conservatory at the Bellagio Hotel, we couldn't help but notice that tourists especially seemed to love the Chinese New Year displays.
Little kids on Dad's shoulder's were especially thrilled by the HUGE dragons with "smoke" (more like steam, similar to that from a humidifier) coming out of the dragon's nostrils, and the larger than life coins, along with some very large "children" made almost completely from flowers! It's always an exciting and thrilling display. Anyone who is in Las Vegas in the month of January will get a real treat if they go to see the Chinese New Year's display at the Bellagio Conservatory Botanical Gardens. Each year features a new theme, based on what year it is.
One of the neatest displays in 2012 was a "river" that ran through the middle of the scene. It was the first thing one would see when entering the conservatory. If you looked closely, you saw a beautifully colored array of Koi fish! Whenever a visitor threw a coin into the "river," the Koi fish swam to try to "catch" it. I, for one, hoped they wouldn't swallow the coins! It was fascinating to watch these beautiful fish.
Beautiful Koi Fish Swimming At The Bellagio Conservatory
Probably the display that fascinated me the most was the beautiful Koi fish swimming around, oblivious to all the chaos around them, such pretty colored fish! Koi fish have been around for centuries. The ones we see today are ancestors from several centuries of breeding between Asian Carp and German Carp. These fish are toothless and they have soft mouths. The things they eat are pretty neat, though. Did you know that Koi fish will eat cheerios? Me neither! But they WILL!
Their normal diet is carp pellets, or trout chow or catfish chow. They have been known, however, to eat "human" food such as spinach, peas, and yes, cheerios! They also like fresh shrimp and earthworms. And as a special treat? They like to eat WATERMELON! What I want to know is... do they have watermelon seed spittin' competitions?
Koi fish have very mellow dispositions, and being toothless, they are harmless to other fish that exist in the same environment. They come in gorgeous colors, from oranges, yellows and red to a shade of lavender, greens, blues and even black. Koi fish thrive especially well in temperate climates, like the climate found in California.
The Chinese New Year display is usually at the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens until about the beginning of March. Then, they feature a Spring display. The display is changed five times a year, There is one for Christmas, Chinese New Year, Spring, Summer and Fall.
More Beautiful Displays Featured At The Bellagio Conservatory
So Many Beautiful Colors, The Chinese New Year Display At The Bellagio Conservatory Is A Feast For The Senses
In addition to the beautiful colors on display at the Bellagio Conservatory any time of year, there are also wonderful smells abounding. As you enter the area, there is sometimes incense burning, or simply fragrant flowers giving off some nice scents, as well as adding a feeling of warmth to the display. The Chinese New Year display is created with the help of experts in "Feng Shui."
Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese art over 3,000 years old. Feng meaning "wind" and Shui meaning "water," these are thought to be two of the elements that when used properly, will bring good health and good fortune to all that enter the space. Experts in Feng Shui are sometimes called in for the Chinese New Year displays to help with the decorations, using such materials as lucky bamboo and oranges. We saw some beautiful orange trees there, with tiny little oranges on them, they were so pretty we weren't sure at first if they were even real, but they were!
The dragons featured are all different colors, each color representing an element. The five elements they represent are fire, earth, wood, metal and water. Sometimes at the Bellagio Conservatory, they have a special live music feature. We were lucky enough to see it during the Chinese New Year display. Music was played live, between 5 and 6 pm. There was quite a crowd there, everyone from little one's on Dad's shoulder's to the elderly folks. Everyone was enjoying the traditional Chinese music. The musician we saw played a guitar like instrument and some drums.
A few days earlier, we had visited the Palazzo hotel, right next to the Venetian on the strip, and they had a Chinese New Year display as well. They featured a long, red and gold dragon that breathed real fire. This dragon was on display in the atrium of The Shoppes At Palazzo. It weighed 8,000 pounds, was 128 feet long, and was also surrounded by important Feng Shui elements similar to those at the Bellagio.
Water elements of Feng Shui in a red and gold bridge were featured, over a stream with live Koi fish, along with metal coins, bamboo trees and pretty ficus trees. If you looked just to the west of the dragon in the Palazzo's display, there was the dragon's "secret friend" a rooster! It is said that the dragon and rooster are not only friends, but the two zodiac signs are also compatible. Together, they bring viewers wealth and good fortune.
The fire breathing was something we didn't personally see the dragon do. They had just begun to feature that aspect of the display. Other hotels on the strip in Las Vegas also get into the spirit of Chinese New Year. Many hotels feature both dragon dancing, and traditional Chinese "lion dancing" at various times and dates throughout the Chinese New Year week, which is usually the last week of January.
Las Vegas and the colorful, musical and artistic Chinese New Year celebration just seem to go hand in hand. It is estimated that thousands of additional visitors are drawn to the Las Vegas strip during that time of year, much of that due to the draw of the Chinese New Year celebration.
So, if you are lucky enough to be in Las Vegas during the Chinese New Year, take a stroll up and down the strip here, you'll be amazed at the color and energy of these popular display's for the Chinese New Year. Las Vegas knows how to do it up right! And when you see other visitor's that week, be sure to wish them a Happy Chinese New Year, by telling them "Gung Hay Fat Choy."
For More On The Seasonal Displays At The Bellagio Conservatory...
- Spring At The Bellagio Hotel Conservatory In Las Vegas
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- Bellagio Hotel Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
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