Wednesday, January 11, 2012


The Venetian and The Palazzo Resorts have the reputation of doing things big.  This year these two resorts are celebrating the Chinese New Year in Grand Style.  Beginning with a ceremonial dragon dance at 1 p.m. on Jan. 23, the Chinese New Year celebrations include lavish feng shui-inspired décor, auspicious dish offerings and festive cocktails.

Symbolizing good luck and prosperity for the upcoming year, the dragon dance is an important ritual of Chinese culture. On Monday, Jan. 23 at 1 p.m., a ceremonial dragon dance complete with firecrackers and eye painting ceremony will begin at The Venetian porte cochere, making its way through The Palazzo. The colorful spectacle will feature a parade of dancers and musicians dressed in elaborate costumes playing authentic music.

It is the year of the Dragon and the Waterfall &Atrium Gardens of The Palazzo will host Las Vegas’ premier Chinese New Year attraction as a 128-foot hand-crafted, fire-breathing dragon is suspended above in the 65-foot-high space. Spanning the entire atrium, the one-of-a-kind, 8,000-pound dragon will be perched amidst the ground fountain and breathe fire from Jan. 23 through Feb. 5 at 1 and 5 p.m. (2 p.m. on Chinese New Year Day following the dragon dance).

Regarded as the mightiest of signs, the dragon symbolizes such traits as ambition, passion and success. Those who possess the sign of the Dragon are said to take risks, are unafraid of challenges and embody colorful personalities. 

“During Chinese New Year, it is beneficial to visit the dragon for its blessing and protection. It is good luck to walk around the entire dragon three times in a clockwise motion to remove obstacles for 2012,” said Peter Lung, with World of Feng Shui, who consulted on the design of the dragon. “You should build friendships with those who possess the sign of the dragon for better luck and blessings in the New Year.”

The west garden will be complete with rocks, plants and metals representing earth elements while the east garden will embody water elements with live orange Koi fish and one black fish to represent Yin and  Yang, the ancient Chinese philosophy of polar opposites being interconnected and interdependent. 

“The dragon is the most powerful of the zodiac signs. We had to create something that Las Vegas would never forget,” said Dana Beatty, director of horticulture for The Venetian and The Palazzo. “From the number and location of our displays to the length and direction of the dragon, everything about the Waterfall & Atrium Gardens is feng shui-inspired, creating the perfect environment to bring wealth and prosperity in 2012.”

A secret friend to the dragon, a rooster will sit to the west of the ground fountain. The two zodiacs are compatible with one another and together bring harmony, wealth and lucky relationships.
The gardens and entrances to both The Venetian and The Palazzo will be adorned with fresh bamboo, citrus trees and 15-foot floral arrangements of tangerines, bromeliads and orchids. Nine traditional I-Ching coins, representing an abundance of wealth, will surround the dragon and Lalique statues of The Palazzo. Six-foot-tall, hand-loomed brocade silk and jade gold and red lanterns will be suspended from the atrium ceilings signifying the lives of those around to always be bright. 

The larger-than-life dragon took more than 60 designers, conceptualists, welders and painters from across the globe more than a year to create and will take nearly 10 days to construct onsite.

 Chinese New Year is also about mouthwatering dishes. Guests can enjoy lovely cuisine at The Palazzo’s Zine Noodles Dim Sum, ranked as one of the top 10 Chinese restaurants in the U.S. by Chinese Restaurant News. Celebrated chef Simon To has created limited-time signature dishes

Chinese New Year specials at Zine:
Live Lobster with golden garlic and spicy salt  (精神 ) -

Live Lobster with golden garlic and spicy salt  (精神 )

 In Chinese, the word "Lobster" related to the word "Dragon", and Dragon represents "Positive Energy" for Chinese; so the Lobster dish is a "Must Have" dish for C.N.Y in meaning of the dish brings positive energy for another wonderful year.

Firecracker Manila Clams (Infused with Chinese White Wine, Fish Paste and Spicy Roasted Pepper / 富年年) -

Firecracker Manila Clams (Infused with Chinese White Wine, Fish Paste and Spicy Roasted Pepper / 富年年)
 Clam represents "Hidden Treasure", this dish has the meaning of "The coming year to be a wealthy year".

 Buddha Feast Creation (Sautéed Seasonal Vegetables with Ginger Juice / 如意喜吉祥) - 

 Buddha Feast Creation (Sautéed Seasonal Vegetables with Ginger Juice / 如意喜吉祥)

This dish is good for all age of the family members, and it has the meaning of "A whole, good, healthy family for the entire year".

With these authentic Chinese dishes guests can have the total experience with a cocktail especially designed for the holiday .

Dragon Cocktail:

Dragon Cocktail

1 1/2 parts Vodka
1/2 part ginger liqueur
1/2 part lime
1 sprig of tarragon
1/3 part lemongrass syrup
Lemon rind
In a cocktail shaker, mix all ingredients and shake hard. Finely strain. Top with a squeeze of lemon rind to release essential oils. Discard rind. Serve in a coupette and garnish with a sprig of tarragon.

You can make the lemongrass syrup by chopping up lemongrass into a 20 oz pitcher of water and 1/2 pound of very fine sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves and let it sit for 30 minutes

With all of these events celebrating the year of the dragon in these two magnificent resorts there is really no other place to be unless you happen to be in China itself . 

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Elaine and Scott

Elaine and Scott
Elaine and Scott