MGM Resorts International celebrates Chinese New Year 2015, the Year of the Ram, with spectacular displays, exhilarating lion and dragon dances at Bellagio, ARIA and MGM Grand, and authentic cuisine at a variety of restaurants.
According to Asian culture, the eighth animal in the Asian zodiac is the Yang, a general term that covers Goat, the most recognizable Chinese Zodiac for this year, and Ram, the more powerful and significant animal in this family. Individuals born in the Year of the Ram tend to be creative, active and considerate.
Lion & Dragon Dances
Dynamic and colorful lion and dragon dances will commemorate the Year of the Ram at Bellagio, ARIA, The Shops at Crystals and MGM Grand:
- The Shops at Crystals – Thursday, Feb. 19 at 2 p.m. on the second level
- Bellagio – Thursday, Feb. 19 at 5 p.m. at the main porte cochere
- MGM Grand – Friday, Feb. 20 at 1 p.m. inside the main lobby
- ARIA – Saturday, Feb. 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the main porte cochere
Yau Kung Moon will perform the Chinese lion and dragon dances in a traditional Southern Shaolin Kung Fu system, a collection of martial arts with more than 1,000 years of history. Yau Kung Moon, which translates to “Style of Flexible Power,” is one of the world’s most respected martial arts, dragon and lion dance organizations. Known for its trademark gold uniforms and innovative routines, Yau Kung Moon has been recognized internationally for being the first U.S. team to compete in the 1990 Invitational World Lion Dance Festival in Malaysia.
Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens
Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens ushers in the Year of the Ram with a vibrant display through March 15. The display’s bold centerpiece features a family of five goats standing proud atop a lush mountain. An Asian home with jade doorknobs also peeks out from the mountainside where water cascades off the mountain nearby into a pond surrounded by citrus trees, bromeliads and cyclamen.
At the entrance of the Conservatory, a 12-foot-tall lantern sits atop a Koi pond that holds 21,000 gallons of water, live Koi fish and bonsai trees perched atop pedestals. Additional illuminated lanterns sit at the corners of the garden where a perch of lucky I-Ching rest below.
The remaining two gardens showcase an Asian vignette. In one garden, beneath a moongate wall, three Chinese children each made with 5,000 fresh cut flowers dance around a pond surrounded by bamboo and ancient stone lanterns. In the opposite garden, three Chinese children play at the end of a brick bridge which adjoins a Chinese pavilion to a garden filled with lush bromeliads, red cyclamen and chrysanthemums.
The design of the Conservatory’s tranquil temple is guided by the ancient practice of Feng Shui – the art of using surroundings to attract harmony, balance and positive life energy. Each garden within the Chinese New Year display encompasses water, ensuring a positive flow of energy; and the three friends of winter – pine, bamboo and plum, symbolizing perseverance, integrity and modesty, respectively.
Enhancing the Conservatory with the sounds of celebration, the Las Vegas-based Beijing Trio performs traditional folk and pop music with authentic Chinese instruments from 4:30 p.m. – 6 p.m., nightly. The Conservatory is complimentary and open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Beginning Thursday, Feb. 12, ARIA’s main lobby will be adorned with celebratory décor in honor of the Year of the Ram. A 229-foot-long dragon will hang from the lobby’s ceiling, winding through 140 red lanterns. Behind ARIA’s front desk, guests will be greeted by three Chinese Deities: Fuk, Luk and Sau, each approximately five feet tall. The three deities personify the important aspirations of mankind: happiness, wealth and longevity. Throughout the property, guests also will encounter eight stuffed lions resembling attire worn during traditional lion dances.
The Shops at Crystals
Beginning Saturday, Feb. 14, the Flower Carpet on the first floor of The Shops at Crystals will feature a Buddha sculpture surrounded by chrysanthemums, orchids and bromeliads. Offering plates will be presented to Buddha in exchange for wealth, good luck and prosperity. A total of 3,274 plant varieties will be used throughout the various gardens at The Shops at Crystals.
In celebration of the Year of the Ram, select MGM Resorts International restaurants will feature specialty menus and authentic cuisine from the Far East.
- Noodles will offer a specialty menu with traditional Chinese fare in honor of the holiday. In addition, Jasmine will feature a holiday Dim Sum menu February 19 – March 1, available 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
- Blossom will be open for lunch with a specialty Dim Sum menu February 19 – March 1, 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. featuring signature dishes such as steamed egg yolk bun and bird’s nest egg custard. The restaurant also will be open for dinner 5:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. On February 19, Blossom will feature a Chinese New Year holiday menu including fish filet with extra spicy broth, stewed pig knuckle and more.
Delano Las Vegas
- Della’s Kitchen will offer a holiday dish to celebrate the Year of the Ram. The Hoisin braised Nevada beef short rib appetizer served with buckwheat noodle salad will be available for $19.
- Mizuya will tantalize guests’ tastebuds with Char Sui chicken lettuce cups served with crispy rice noodle, peanuts and hoisin for $16. The Noodle Shop will feature an extensive specialty menu to ring in the New Year including sun dried oysters congee with black moss and braised pork knuckles noodle soup.
- Grand Wok will offer a variety of delicacies for lunch and dinner including Ginseng Abalone Chicken Soup and Sesame Mochi with bean powder.