The Chinese New Year – which is the Year of the Dog – is Friday, February 16, and Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens is celebrating with a new Lunar New Year display open now through March 3. The experience features colorful lanterns, thousands of I-Ching coins (a traditional Chinese symbol for money) and flowing fountains, as well as a larger-than-life dog at the center of it all.
As you enter the Conservatory through the East Garden you will be welcomed by a dome draped in thousands of red roses and yellow forsythia. Ding pots – ancestral vessels that protect against bad fortune – burn incense for good luck at the garden’s edge. Four fountains line the domes and a fifth, filled with giant coins, is at the center of the walkway. Four Chinese lanterns, embellished with hand-painted metallic designs, lure guests further into the gardens.
The dog is the 11th animal in the Asian zodiac and is recognized as the most loyal. It also is a symbol of longevity, which explains why an 18-foot Siberian Husky stands in the centerpiece of the Gardens atop a mountain overflowing with I-Ching coins. The dog watches over two children as they play with lanterns and fireworks. Two other dogs run and jump through the West Garden.
In the South Garden, a 16-foot Moon Gate resides. Silk lanterns and firecrackers surround the gate. Across the conservatory in the North Garden is an 18-foot money tree symbolizing good fortune, wealth and nobility. The money tree has 384 oversized gold-leaf coins on its branches. Red lanterns hang overhead and bodies of water roar through each garden, ensuring a positive flow of energy.
The display was created by designer Ed Libby, Bellagio’s horticulture team and Feng Shui Master George Yau. Each Lunar New Year, Master Yau and team create the garden guided by the ancient practice of Feng Shui, the art of using surroundings to attract harmony, balance and positive life energy.
The Conservatory & Botanical Gardens is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is free to the public.