16 Chinese New Year celebrations planned in Las Vegas

16 Chinese New Year celebrations planned in Las Vegas
One of three 600-pound rams displayed for Chinese New Year at Wynn Las Vegas. (Wynn Las Vegas)

Chinese New Year comes to Las Vegas with festivities starting on Thursday.

The Year of the Sheep brings with it a bevy of lion and dragon dances, in addition to spectacular displays at resorts across Las Vegas.

Here are 16 ways to celebrate Chinese New Year in Las Vegas; 10 are  free.

Hakkasan has a "Wishing Tree," where guests can write their desires on ribbons placed throughout the restaurant at the MGM Grand, and also welcomes the Year of the Sheep with a lion dance on Thursday.

M Resort in Henderson will host a Chinese dragon and lion dance on Thursday at 6 p.m. Thirty dancers from the Lohan School of Shaolin will perform the traditional ceremony to ward off evil spirits and bring good fortune. A 63-foot dragon will highlight the ceremony while adult and baby lion dancers, happy Buddhas, musicians and festive flags will join in the dance through the casino floor.

Mandarin Oriental's Tea Lounge on the 23rd floor offers an authentic Gong Fu Cha tea service with Imperial Spring Dragonwell tea. Get it from noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

Wynn Las Vegas and Encore Las Vegas have unveiled three 600-pound ram sculptures gilded in gold leaf in celebration of the upcoming Chinese New Year. Two of the sculptures are displayed in the Wynn Atrium with the third located in front of the High Limits area at Encore. The nine-foot-tall, 13-foot-long rams will be on display through March 4. Wynn will hold its traditional dragon and lions dance on Saturday at 6 p.m. under the porte cochere.

Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas will throw its traditional Dotting of the Eyes ceremony at the East Side entrance off Las Vegas Boulevard on Sunday at 2 p.m. During the ceremony, nearly 30 performers will awaken a dragon and lions by dotting their eyes with red paint. The dragon then leads a parade of lions and dancers throughout the casino floor.

—The Linq promenade will celebrate the fourth annual Chinese New Year in the Desert/Las Vegas Spring Festival on Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 10 p.m. The Desert Winds will perform and the weekend includes an international culinary show and a DragonFest Concert.

—Lion and dragon dances will take place on Thursday at 5 p.m. at the Bellagio, Friday at 1 p.m. at the MGM Grand and Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at Aria. Martial artists from Yau Kung Moon will perform the Chinese lion and dragon dances.

—The Bellagio's Conservatory & Botanical Gardens is displaying a family of five goats through March 15. Other elements include an Asian home with jade doorknobs and a 12-foot-tall lantern on a Koi pond that holds 21,000 gallons of water, live Koi fish and bonsai trees on pedestals. Las Vegas-based Beijing Trio performs traditional folk and pop music with authentic Chinese instruments from 4:30 to 6 p.m. nightly.

Aria's main lobby features a 229-foot-long dragon hanging from the lobby's ceiling, winding through 140 red lanterns.

—The Flower Carpet on the first floor of The Shops at Crystals features The Tree of Life aluminum sculpture with lights, crystals and 72 suspended Chinese silk lanterns. A total of 3,274 plant varieties decorate the various gardens at The Shops at Crystals.

The Venetian and the Palazzo  will stage a lion dance to bring good luck and prosperity for the new year on Thursday at 3 p.m. The ceremonial lion dance starts with an eye ceremony at The Venetian porte cochere, followed by a dance through the Venetian lobby and casino before stopping in the Palazzo Waterfall Atrium, casino, lobby and porte cochere.

—Hong Kong pop artist G.E.M. (short for "Get Everybody Moving") will perform in the Venetian Ballroom on Saturday. The best-selling female artist in Hong Kong plays the piano, drums and guitar.


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