Chinese New Year is one of the most important festivities in China and Taiwan and every year, Las Vegas goes all out to help celebrate the holiday. Chinese New Year 2011 (the year of the rabbit) begins on Feb. 3 and lasts for 15 days. Rabbits seem to be multiplying all over town as many properties are decorating for the holiday and holding special events:
Palazzo and Venetian
The Venetian and The Palazzo horticulture team has created festive Chinese New Year décor throughout both properties. Highlights include 6-foot-tall hand-loomed brocade silk, jade gold and red lanterns suspended in the air; 15-foot fresh-cut bamboo, citrus trees and a signature 16-foot animated rabbit.
To celebrate Chinese New Year on Feb. 3, The Meadows School will perform a traditional dragon parade throughout The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. The cast of singers and dancers includes 120 local students – 60 from Kindergarten and 60 from fifth grade.
The students will perform a Chinese dragon parade featuring two large and colorful dragons (powered by students), red and gold costumes (Chinese colors of joy), drums and firecrackers (to keep evil spirits away).
As they wind their way through the mall, they will stop in front of the Fountain of the Gods to perform.
Also at Caesars Palace, Hong Kong-born singer and actor Jacky Cheung will perform at 8 p.m. on Feb. 6 at the Colosseum. Cheung is one of the performers that the Chinese media refers to as “Four Heavenly Kings” and is also nicknamed “God of Songs.” Tickets start at $78.
Bellagio’s Conservatory features an elaborate Chinese New Year display guided by the ancient practice of Feng Shui.
The centerpiece of the exhibit is a 35-foot Chinese Junk Boat inspired by traditional 15th century fishing vessels and surrounded by a bridge leading to a Ming Dynasty-styled gazebo.
Representing the fourth sign of the Chinese zodiac, a 12-foot rabbit with “fur” comprised of live plants will watch over eight playing babies within a forest of bamboo trees.
Nearby, the God of Prosperity, bringing good fortune and great luck to the New Year, will hold court in the entrance garden along with oversized red silk Chinese lanterns and a moongate wall. The scene will be completed with seven replica Terracotta Warriors, covered in crushed walnuts and ground carrot seeds, accompanied by a horse-drawn carriage.
Visitors are invited to view the display at the Conservatory through March 5.
To see video of the conservatory being prepared for the Chinese New Year display, click here.
Chinatown Plaza, located not far from the Strip at 4255 Spring Mountain Road, is holding a Chinese New Year celebration and Asian food festival on Feb. 13 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Guests can indulge in Hong Kong, Canton, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Thai and Hawaiian cuisine. All-day entertainment includes lion dances, Japanese Taiko drums, Chinese folk dance, martial arts, Tahitian dance, Dragon dances and Chinese acrobats.
There will also be fortune tellers, Chinese arts and crafts, retail vendors and Chinese calligraphers. Admission is $3 for adults and $1 for kids 6-12. Children under 5 are free.
Crystals at CityCenter
Crystals will have a special Chinese New Year display until March 7. The display features a giant golden rabbit that weighs 1,200 pounds and stands 11 feet tall.
A 62-foot Chinese dragon will dance through the Gold Coast casino Feb. 10 at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Kung fu practitioners from the Lohan School of Shaolin will perform the dances.
M Resort will celebrate the Year of the Rabbit at 6 p.m. on Feb. 11 with a traditional Chinese lion and dragon dance performed by the Lohan School of Shaolin.
The dance will include a 30 people and a 63-foot dragon and will wind from the lobby, through the casino floor, buffet, poker room and table games. The hotel will also feature Chinese New Year decor including tangerine trees, welcome banners, lanterns and eight selections of Asian favorites like Satsuma, spring rolls, Beef Lo Mein and more at Studio B Buffet beginning Feb. 3.