Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens invites guests to celebrate the Year of the Dragon during Chinese New Year with a vibrant display honoring the mythical creature that symbolizes good fortune and power. A serene sanctuary guided by the ancient practice of Feng Shui - the art of using surroundings to attract harmony, balance and positive life energy - is on view through March 4.
For the first time during Bellagio’s Chinese New Year display, the Conservatory will feature live entertainment. The Las Vegas-based “Beijing Trio” will perform traditional folk and pop music with authentic Chinese instruments including the erhu, ruan and pipa. Complimentary performances take place 5 p.m. - 6 p.m., daily, within the wing-tipped Ming Dynasty-style gazebo in the South Garden, for the duration of the exhibit.
The majestic centerpiece of this exhibit consists of two animated 25-foot blue Dragons coiled around a cylinder of water. Rising from an island of tropical botanicals, the cylinders are accompanied by two 3,000-pound stone waterfalls surging nearby. A spectacular photo opportunity presents itself as the Dragons blow steam from their nostrils in an attempt to playfully swat at a legendary, oversized iridescent red pearl hanging directly above. The pearl, in Chinese lore, represents wealth, good luck and prosperity.
Nearby, two additional animated dragons, green and gold in color, actively lunge in the direction of the centerpiece. These 15-foot long dragons represent the elements wood and metal and are surrounded by a zig-zag bridge that leads to the striking gazebo. The bridge’s design follows the principles of Feng Shui, providing a difficult route for negative energy and bad spirits.
Just steps away in the North Garden, two animated dragons, brown and red, mirror their counterparts. These dragons represent the elements earth and fire and are surrounded by oversized silk red Chinese lanterns, a Chinese-style bridge and gold-leafed I-Ching coins, a traditional Chinese symbol for money.
The entrance of the Conservatory features a 21,000-gallon pond housing more than 200 Koi fish. The pond is found amidst I-Ching coins and flanked by four Ming Dynasty-style dings, ancestral vessels that protect against bad fortunes.
Legend has it that Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came. The fifth animal in the Asian zodiac, the legendary Dragon, serves as a symbol of ambition and is a master of authority. Those born in the Year of the Dragon, the most desirable year, tend to be passionate, strong leaders and artistically gifted.
On view through March 4, the Chinese New Year exhibit within Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens is complimentary to the public and open seven days a week, 24 hours a day.