Las Vegas: Feasts and flowers for Lunar New Year

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 23, 2013 at 9:13 am •  Published: January 23, 2013

Bellagio's Conservatory & Botanical Gardens annual floral display welcoming the lunar new year is up through March 3. The display, incorporating principles of the Asian design philosophy feng shui, includes large hanging red lanterns, an 18-foot-tall (5.5-meter) money tree decorated with gold coins, a 9-foot (3-meter) blue-and-yellow snake, a waterfall, incense pots, and a wooden boat with a 38-foot (11.5-meter) mast in a pond of koi fish inspired by 15th century Chinese fishing vessels. Also on display are figures of six children wearing outfits made from hundreds of colorful carnations and chrysanthemums.

Bellagio will host a dragon and lion dance on Feb. 12 at 6:30 p.m., and a $500 per person new year dinner is being offered at Bellagio's Tuscany Kitchen, prepared by the culinary team from Beijing's Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, recreating dishes that have been served there to visiting dignitaries.

The waterfall atrium connecting The Venetian and Palazzo resorts hosts an art installation featuring a 98-foot-long (30 meters) animatronic snake named Sophie Chow coiled throughout a massive peach tree decorated with flowers, lanterns and coins, on display through Feb. 25. On Feb. 9, drummers and firecrackers will launch a dragon dance at 3:30 p.m. through The Venetian lobby, casino and atrium, ending at the Palazzo. On Feb. 10 at 1 p.m., at The Shoppes at The Palazzo's Chloe rotunda, a traditional Chinese fan dance will be followed by distribution of 500 red envelopes with gift cards, chocolate coins and other surprises.

Special menus for the new year around Las Vegas include a $28.88 dinner (eight is a lucky number in Chinese culture) at Monte Carlo's Dragon Noodle Co. & Sushi Bar; a Chinese-themed four-course prix fixe at Fleur by Hubert Keller at Mandalay Bay; a four-course prix fixe at Rice & Company at Luxor Hotel and Casino; and a "China Poblano" menu by chef Jose Andres at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Other events and special offerings in Las Vegas marking year of the dragon include themed treatments at Mandarin Oriental's Forbes Five-Star spa; a parade through the MGM Grand Feb. 10 at 5 p.m. by the Cirque du Soleil dance troupe; a dragon dance visiting retailers at ARIA and Crystals at CityCenter, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 11; and a dragon and lion dance at 6 p.m. Feb. 12 at Wynn Las Vegas.

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If You Go...

LAS VEGAS TOURISM: http://www.lasvegas.com

CHINESE NEW YEAR IN THE DESERT: Feb. 8-10, Las Vegas, http://www.cnyinthedesert.com .

LAS VEGAS CHINATOWN: http://www.lvchinatown.com/

BELLAGIO CONSERVATORY & BOTANICAL GARDENS: http://www.bellagio.com/attractions/botanical-garden.aspx . Earthcam view of Chinese New Year display: http://www.earthcam.com/client/bellagio/