Celebrate Chinese New Year 2009 at Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens

Beginning January 14, Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens will celebrate the 2009 Chinese New Year, the Year of the Ox, with a unique display filled with hidden meaning. The Conservatory’s design will be guided by the ancient practice of Feng Shui – the art of using surroundings to attract harmony, balance and positive life energy.

The dramatic centerpiece of this exhibit will be a botanical 15-foot-long ox. The magnificent creature will be found cooling off in a tranquil pond. His full coat will be comprised of more than 10,000 living Alternanthera, a low-growing herb, while his gleaming horns will be made with a golden-hued metal.

Legend has it that Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came. The second animal in the Asian zodiac, the ox serves as a symbol of prosperity. Those born in the Year of the Ox tend to be self-assured, inspirational and born leaders.

Just steps away from Bellagio’s robust ambassador, an 18-foot-tall Chinese God of Wealth and Fortune will be found amidst I-Ching coins, a traditional Chinese money symbol. Widely recognized as the strongest symbol of good fortune in China, the God of Wealth and Fortune will be flanked by two Ming Dynasty-styled dings, ancestral vessels that protect against bad luck.

Nearby, a trio of charming, 6-foot-tall giant pandas, made of more than 9,000 living plants, will frolic in a lush garden filled with towering bamboo. Considered a national treasure in China and listed as an endangered species, pandas spend at least 12 hours each day eating up to 84 pounds of bamboo.

Within Bellagio’s Conservatory, visitors also will find a zigzag bridge leading to a beautiful, wing-tipped gazebo painted a deep red lacquer with shimmering gold trim and green-tiled roofs. The color red signifies happiness while the upturned roofline will ward off evil spirits. The sharp pattern of the bridge will protect against negative energy and bad spirits. A majestic mountain, seen as a pillar between heaven and earth, will serve as a dramatic backdrop.

The teachings of Feng Shui also will be used to purposely position the flow of water into Bellagio’s Conservatory, and not away, ensuring the flow of positive energy. Visitors are invited to celebrate Chinese New Year in Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens January 14 through February 28.

Chinese New Year Facts:

  •  The Year of the Ox is January 26, 2009 – February 14, 2010
  •  People born in the Year of the Ox tend to be self-assured and inspirational

Chinese New Year Conservatory Facts:

15-foot-long ox comprised of 10,000 Alternanthera Three 6-foot-tall giant pandas comprised of Helichrysum Icicles and Hemigraphis Erect 18-foot-tall God of Wealth and Fortune I-Ching coins are traditional money symbol Zigzag bridges, color red and water protect against evil, ensure positive energy