How to Celebrate Chinese New Year in Las Vegas

China Lights at Craig Ranch Regional Park

Las Vegas is celebrating the Chinese New Year (Friday, February 16) with an array of culinary offerings, themed décor and entertainment for visitors throughout February. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) reports that visitation from China has increased over the past several years, including a nearly 13 percent jump in 2016.

Entertainment

Fashion Show will host the seventh annual CNY in the Desert and ring in the Year of the Dog with a special ribbon cutting and dinner on Friday, February 16. To commemorate Chinese New Year, guests can enjoy performances by the Tianjin Dance and Acrobatic Theater Company as they take on the runway. Guests will be able to enjoy a live authentic dragon dance and eye painting ceremony by Las Vegas Lohan School of Shaolin, followed by a ceremonial blessing of the department stores where team members will feed the dragon red envelopes to bring good luck for the year. Following the ceremony, guests also have the option to enjoy a special Lunar New Year family-style dinner catered by Kona Grill and cocktails sponsored by Remy Martin.

CNY in the Desert will also host celebrations in Downtown Las Vegas. The sixth annual Las Vegas Spring Festival Parade will march through downtown, beginning at 11th Street and Fremont, Saturday, February 17 at 11 a.m., followed by a parade afterparty. 

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The waterfall inside the Grand Canal Shoppes inside The Venetian and The Palazzo will set the stage for a traditional Chinese fan dance, as performers distribute more than 250 red envelopes filled with special gifts to guests on February 16. From gift cards to chocolate gold coins, each envelope contains special offers available at participating Grand Canal Shoppes stores and restaurants.

Honoring Chinese tradition, Caesars Entertainment resorts will host 13 lion dances to bring good luck across Las Vegas. At each of the nine resorts, the lion dances will start at the porte cochère and make their way through the casino, February 16 to 28. Participating resorts include The CromwellFlamingo Las VegasHarrah’s Las VegasThe LINQ Hotel & CasinoPlanet Hollywood Resort & CasinoParis Las VegasBally’s Las VegasRio All-Suite Hotel and Casino and Caesars Palace.

Just outside the city, a festive parade will flood the streets of Downtown Summerlin to honor the Lunar New Year at 6 p.m. An oversized decorative Chinese dragon will parades through the crowds with percussionists and traditional fan dancers. Also outside The Strip, the China Lights cultural festival will send hundreds of illuminated lanterns into the sky at Craig Ranch Regional Park until February 25. The month-long exhibit includes nightly stage performances, Asian and American food offerings and more than 40 artistic displays made by Chinese artisans.

Décor

Wynn Las Vegas

Upon arrival, guests of Wynn Las Vegas will be greeted by three, nine-foot-high golden dog sculptures to honor the Year of the Dog. More than 7,000 vibrant begonias, mums and calandiva flowers adorn the Wynn and Encore atriums to wish celebrators a healthy and prosperous New Year.

The annual celebratory dragon display returns for another year at The Forum Shops inside Caesars Palace. The 22-foot-long dragon is a traditional symbol of power, strength and good luck. The decorative display is dressed in thousands of LED lights, flickering to give the mythical creature a vibrant look and dynamic feel.

Following a ceremonial ribbon cutting, The High Roller at The LINQ will be illuminated in red and gold to mark the beginning of Chinese New Year. It will serve as the backdrop to nightly dance performances on the promenade’s fountain stage as well as exciting prize drawings. A full schedule of events can be found here.

Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens celebrates the Year of the Dog with a vibrant floral display through the beginning of March. The display showcases an abundance of colorful lanterns, thousands of I-Ching coins and flowing fountains.

To commemorate the Year of the Dog, The Venetian and The Palazzo’s horticulture team consulted a feng shui master to create Vincenzo Li, a 16-foot Chinese Shar-Pei installation that symbolizes good fortune and protection.

The main lobby of ARIA Resort and Casino will be adorned in celebratory décor to honor the beginning of the Lunar New Year starting Friday, February 9. A 196-foot-long dragon will hang from the lobby’s ceiling, weaving its way through a money tree made up of golden coins, representing wealth and luck.

Cuisine

Patrons can indulge at China Poblano by José Andrés at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, with a 15-day celebratory menu beginning February 16. Specialty dishes include “The Chicken or the Egg,” “The Dragon’s Pearl” and a variety of significant Chinese fares. The dining hotspot will also offer a six-course tasting menu for those who wish to indulge in a bit of everything.

Hakkasan Las Vegas Restaurant will offer a family-style dinner menu. Upon arrival, guests will receive a wishing ribbon before enjoying authentic Chinese cuisine, such as crispy scallops in sweet plum sauce and Rhug estate lamb in seaweed soy.

Chef Ming Yu of Wing Lei at Wynn Las Vegas will serve an extravagant Chinese New Year Dim Sum Brunch, February 15 to 21. The unconventional brunch features table-side presentation of various dim sum and dumplings, pan-seared radish cake and lotus chicken. Fresh sushi and a carving station will also be available for a lavish dining experience.

Mandarin Bar at Mandarin Oriental will be one of the exclusive properties to feature the ‘Year of the Dog’ Edition of Johnny Walker Blue Label whiskey during the holiday. Guests can opt for the “Wu Xing” cocktail inspired by the Chinese Philosophy of the five elements: fire, earth, water, metal and wood. The festive libation is made using imperial Oolong tea, sandalwood oils, flamed orange twist, a mandarin ice sphere and custom metal stirrer.

Hong Kong Café at The Palazzo will observe the Lunar New Year with a specialty curated menu. Visitors will revel in holiday spirit with a variety of crafted cocktails, including the Pink Lotus and the Blood Moon Daisy, paired with snacks such as peppered beef skewers, crabmeat wontons, and spiced cucumber.

Additional authentic Chinese restaurants in Las Vegas include:

  • Red 8 at Wynn Las Vegas
  • MR CHOW at Caesars Palace
  • Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace
  • Beijing Noodle No. 9 at Caesars Palace
  • Blossom at ARIA Resort & Casino

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