Las Vegas Casinos Usher in Year of the Tiger with Large Parade, Lion Dances, Celebrations
Posted on: February 7, 2022, 06:59h.
Last updated on: February 7, 2022, 01:15h.
Las Vegas gaming properties rang in the Lunar New Year this past weekend with traditional lion dances, a community parade, other special events, and feasts. They marked the launch of the Year of the Tiger.
The tiger is known for being brave, strong, and wise. It is one of 12 animals that are used to name years on the Chinese calendar. Their characteristics come from traditional folklore.
Qingfang Zhang, a social work professional at Desert Behavioral Health who has been a Las Vegas resident for two decades, explained that Lunar New Year remains very important to members of the Asian community, as well as diverse visitors to the region.
It has become a significant tradition and [provides] attractions for the locals’ Asian community, not only for Asian visitors to the US, but visitors in general who visit Las Vegas around Lunar New Year,” she told Casino.org.
She notes there is a good-sized Asian population living in Las Vegas and other parts of Nevada. Many of them work in the casino industry. Nevada has some 237,588 Asian-American residents, according to recent estimates. That represents 8 percent of the population.
“It is their root and tradition to celebrate Lunar New Year to honor their own heritage,” Zhang said. “Almost every casino has developed some kind of program or puts decorations [up] to celebrate Lunar New Year.”
For instance, Caesars Entertainment has celebrated Lunar New Year at its Las Vegas resorts for many years. Recent and ongoing celebrations include VIP casino events for invited guests, festival-themed decor, dining specials, and traditional lion dance performances at casino resorts.
“It is one of the most important festivals of the year for many Asian cultures, and we are proud to honor this special occasion with our Asian team members, guests, and communities,” said Sean McBurney, regional president of Caesars Entertainment, to Casino.org. “As we welcome the Year of the Tiger, we wish everyone happiness, good health, and prosperity.”
At another property, the MGM Resorts-operated Bellagio, the Bellagio Botanical Garden is decorated in a colorful and festive display called the “Eye of the Tiger.” It includes lotus flowers, silk-lantern chandeliers, a tea house, a pomegranate tree, and many gold coins. An 8,000-pound bronze tiger is the centerpiece of the display.
“The Lunar New Year exhibit incorporates traditional elements with contemporary pieces that add excitement and a fresh perspective to long-standing Asian traditions,” Ed Libby, a floral designer at the Bellagio, told KTNV, a local TV station.
Two other properties, The Cosmopolitan and Mohegan Sun Casino at Virgin Hotels, both featured a lion dance this past weekend. The lion dance is seen as a way to usher in a year marked by prosperity, fortune, and overall good luck.
The lion dance was followed by the traditional eating of lettuce. It, too, is a way to bring good luck in the coming year, KSNV, another local TV station, reported.
Another community-wide event was a parade complete with a lion dance and decorative floats. The yearly parade took place Saturday in Downtown Las Vegas at the Fremont East Entertainment District.
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