Celebrate Chinese New Year with the Venetian and Palazzo

Starting on Monday, the Venetian and the Palazzo will be celebrating the most celebrated year of the Chinese Zodiac, the Year of the Dragon. Both resorts feature feng shui-inspired décor and Chinese dishes and festive cocktails.

The celebrations starts with a ceremonial dragon dance complete with firecrackers and an eye painting ceremony at 1 p.m. Monday. A parade of dancers and musicians dressed in elaborate costumes playing authentic music roams through the resorts.

In the Waterfall & Atrium Gardens at the Palazzo, a 128-foot hand-crafted, fire-breathing dragon who weighs in at 8,000 pounds and hangs 65 feet above greets guests. Look for him to breathe first Jan. 23 through Feb. 5 at 1 and 5 p.m. as well as at 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.

The west garden features rocks, plants and metals representing earth elements while the east garden captures the 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.

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 the Venetian and the Palazzo feature fresh bamboo, citrus trees and 15-foot floral arrangements of tangerines, bromeliads and orchids. Nine traditional I-Ching coins, representing an abundance of wealth, surround the dragon and Lalique statues of the Palazzo. Six-foot-tall, hand-loomed brocade silk and jade gold and red lanterns suspended from the atrium ceilings signify 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.

Also during the Chinese New Year celebration, Zine Noodles Dim Sum created limited-time signature dishes including lobster with golden garlic and spicy salt. The word “lobster” resembles the word “dragon” in Chinese and represents positive energy. Firecracker Manila clams infused with Chinese white wine, fish paste and spicy roasted pepper represents hidden treasures. The dish brings wealth into the coming year. Buddha feast creation is seasonal vegetables with ginger juice, meaning “a whole, good, healthy family for the entire year.”

Guests can also enjoy refreshing infusions including a Chamomile and Lychee Ice Tea, Green Tea with Rosemary, Chili and Lemon and the signature Dragon Cocktail created from vodka, ginger liqueur, lime, a spring of tarragon, lemongrass syrup and lemon rind. These libations will be served at each of bars and lounges at resorts.

The Chinese New Year décor and specialty food and beverage items will be available through the end of February.

Click on the photos below to enlarge.

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