Lunar New Year is in full swing at the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, and the 2023 display at Bellagio Las Vegas is in a word….Stunning!
2023 is the “Year of the Rabbit,” signifying prosperity, longevity, and peace in the Chinese Lunar calendar. It’s no surprise then that you’ll find an abundance of rabbits throughout this year’s display, including the centerpiece of the garden, which is a 32 foot high medallion paying homage to the Water Rabbit itself.
The exhibit at the Bellagio runs through March 4, 2023 (see the full Bellagio Conservatory schedule for the year here). If you are in Las Vegas during this timeframe, be sure not to miss it (it’s free to visit).
For your viewing pleasure, I’ve created a photo gallery of my time at the conservatory with a little background information regarding some of the highlights of the 2023 Lunar New Year display at the Bellagio. Enjoy!
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2023 Lunar New Year at The Bellagio Conservatory (Photo Gallery)
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Upon first entering the 2023 Bellagio Conservatory’s Lunar New Year display, you’ll encounter Cai Shen, the compassionate Chinese god of wealth. It is believed that he provides wealth and abundance to his devotees.
On the bridge at Cai Shen’s feet, you’ll find several golden rabbits who are representative of new beginnings and prosperity. Rabbits are revered for their peaceful nature.
Continuing through the garden, there is a tranquil pond that contains several items of interest.
First is the money tree. Money trees in Chinese culture represent good fortune and abundance. They are often given as gifts to loved ones. This money tree contains 88 golden I-Ching coins. Since the number 8 is considered to be the luckiest number in China, the 88 coins symbolize the doubling of good fortune, happiness, and abundance.
The ornate pagoda you see is a reproduction of the Temple of Six Banyon Trees. This temple resides in Guangzhou, China, and was constructed in 537 AD. It is still visited today by families who have come to China to adopt children. The temple provides blessings to their new children.
The children next to the temple are each created from hundreds of vibrant carnations.
Each child is using or playing with a specific item to symbolize life, including work, play, festivity, sustainability, and enlightenment.
At the center of the Bellagio Garden’s 2023 Lunar New Year display is a golden coin suspended above a peaceful pond. The 32-foot tall coin features a rabbit in honor of the Year of the Rabbit. The medallion is double-sided to honor the two halves of nature – Masculine and Feminine.
The gently flowing water beneath the coin is representative of the rabbit’s tranquility and wisdom. The giant golden water lilies on each side symbolize enlightenment and renewal.
The colors gold and red are often found in Chinese culture and represent Joy (red) and Good Fortune (gold). Notice that the red elements are made up of carefully placed flowers.
Guarding the coin are two Fu Dogs. These fierce imperial lions stand watch over the medallion and scare away harmful energy.
There is an orb under the Fu Dog’s foot, symbolizing that he is a protector of the garden.
These twin golden Bonzai trees are believed to bring good luck and harmony. The bonsai tree is used in the age-old practice of gently shaping nature into artistic forms through action and patience.
Flowers and plants always take center stage in the seasonal Bellagio Conservatory displays, and the 2023 Lunar New Year display is no different. Over 10,000 plants have been used throughout this year’s garden.
In another part of the conservatory, two white cranes live amongst the foliage surrounding a koi pond. In Chinese culture, cranes represent longevity and are the second most popular bird (the Phoenix is number one).
Directly behind the cranes is a traditional-style tea house symbolizing hospitality and grace. This is an area where guests can experience an immersive dining adventure at Bellagio. I’m not sure I’d want to be dining on display with hundreds of people watching, but I’m sure others would.
A bunny rabbit hops along a stone path through the pond on his way to the tea house.
The cherry tree with blossoms symbolizes life’s fragility and new beginnings, as cherry blossoms only last for a week or two. This cherry tree is comprised of approximately 4,000 hand-placed flowering branches.
Suspended above the flowering cherry tree is the glowing celestial body of the jade rabbit. As legend has it, when the jade rabbit appears on the moon, anyone gazing upon it will have a wonderful life journey.
No Lunar New Year celebration would be complete without leaving an offering as a sign of thankfulness and hopes for an abundant new year. In addition to financial offerings, this ding pot is filled with incense whose glowing tips gently release fragrant smoke.
If you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to take a look at the recent 2022 Christmas display at the Bellagio Conservatory.
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2023 Lunar New Year at Bellagio Conservatory – Conclusion
I hope you enjoyed this pictorial celebration of the Year of the Rabbit at the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden. I also hope you’ll get a chance to see the garden Lunar New Year display in person, either now or in the future, as every year, it is a completely new design.
Happy New Year!