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Chinese New Year at Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens

Monday, Mar 21, 2011

Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens in Las Vegas celebrated Chinese New Year – Year of the Rabbit, with a unique display replete with symbolic meaning and tradition.  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 display through March 5. The majestic centerpiece of this exhibit is a 35-foot Chinese Junk Boat with a 38-foot mast inspired by traditional 15th century fishing vessels. Nearby, a 12-foot rabbit with a luxurious coat comprised of more than 4,500 live sedge plants, watches over eight babies at play within a forest of bamboo trees and Taihu rocks.  Stones are viewed as essential features of any traditional Chinese garden and symbolize the larger world around us. Just steps away from Bellagio’s furry fortune ambassadors, an 18-foot-tall Chinese God of Prosperity is found amidst gold leafed I-Ching coins, a traditional Chinese money symbol. Celebrating one of the greatest archaeological finds in history and appearing for the first time in the Conservatory are seven replica Terracotta Warriors, covered in crushed walnuts and ground carrot seeds, accompanied by a horse-drawn carriage. The teachings of Feng Shui also are used to position the flow of water into Bellagio’s Conservatory, and not away, ensuring the flow of positive energy.  Oversized red silk Chinese lanterns throughout the Conservatory add to the auspicious nature of this spectacular exhibit. Legend has it that Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year.  Twelve came.  The fourth animal in the Asian zodiac, the rabbit serves as a symbol of fortune and longevity.  Those born in the Year of the Rabbit tend to be lucky, articulate and ambitious. On view through March 5, 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.