Bellagio Chinese New Year 2014 Display Gets Its Bloom On

The Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens has unveiled its annual Chinese New Year display, featuring iconic Chinese symbols of luck and prosperity.

One of the first things you see when you enter the Conservatory is a giant money tree bearing lucky Chinese coins. There are 384 coins. Yes, we counted.

Bellagio Chinese New Year 2014
Chinese people must have huge coin purses.

According to the Chinese zodiac, it’s the Year of the Horse, and in Las Vegas, it’s really, really important you articulate that when you say things like, “Know what I like best about Las Vegas at this time of year? The horse.” We’re just saying.

Bellagio Las Vegas
The horses are the Conservatory’s mane attraction. We’ll be here all week!

The Year of the Horse begins Jan. 31, 2014. The Conservatory has eight horses, doubling up on the good mojo, because eight is a very lucky number for the Chinese. And having lots of Chinese gamblers in town is very lucky for Las Vegas casinos.

Bellagio Chinese New Year
No wagering on these, thanks.

Each of the eight horses represents an element in nature: Sky, fire, thunder, wind, Sneezy, Dopey and Doc. A joke which, we’re thinking, is likely to give us bad luck for at least a dozen more seasonal Conservatory displays.

Chinese New Year Las Vegas
The Chinese New Year display has 140,000 flowers, mainly because on the Internet, if you make things up, there’s no real accountability.

The Bellagio has put together a reliably impressive display, although it seems somehow less enthusiastic than other seasonal efforts. Still, there’s a lot to see, especially if you take the time to get close up to the various decorative touches.

For example, the six Chinese children figures have clothing made up of carnations and chrysanthemums, as well as other flowers we can’t spell without the assistance of Google. Each child’s costume is made up of 1,800 flowers.

Bellagio Chinese New Year display
Somebody at Bellagio has way too much free time.

The Chinese New Year display has a slew of Chinese lanterns, commonly used in Chinese celebrations and festivals, and we didn’t just read that off of a placard at the Conservatory. Probably.

Chinese lanterns
There are five types of Chinese lanterns: The Baby’s Bottom, the Rolling Paper, the Tomato Light, the Crystal Magic and Buddha’s Gastronomy. We’re not kidding this time.

There’s a “Zigzag Bridge.” It has something to do with evil spirits not being able to turn corners. Hey, it makes about as much sense as the lucky coin thing, so just go with it.

Zigzag bridge
Spirits can’t turn corners? What are they, alligators?

There is also a pedestal lantern, called “Tachi-gata.” It is carved out of heavy granite. Which we’re pretty sure isn’t a flower, but we’re going to give the Bellagio a pass this time. The exhibit is free, after all.

Pedestal lantern
Fortune cookie say: If you’ve read this far, you’re spending too much time on the Internet.

For those with anthophilia (a love of flowers), there’s a lot to take in at the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. That’s sort of its thing.

Bellagio flower
Sproing! (Sorry, we ran out of photo captions.)

Everywhere you turn, there’s another color or shape. Please don’t eat the plants, though. You might cause an international incident.

Bellagio Conservatory
“Stamen” is one of those words that sounds dirty, but isn’t.

Another decorative touch is the Ding pot. Ding pots are often made of bronze and used in Chinese temples. Dings are, apparently, a thing.

Chinese Ding pot
In ancient China, feudal lords were judged by the size of their Ding. Again, not making this up.

The Bellagio Chinese New Year 2014 display will be available for viewing until March 1, and remains one of the best free things to do in Las Vegas.

Enjoy far more Chinese New Year photos than anyone could ever possibly need in our exclusive gallery.

Bellagio Conservatory Chinese New Year 2014