MGM Resorts International celebrates Chinese New Year 2012, the Year of the Dragon, with exhilarating lion dances, spectacular displays at Crystals at CityCenter and Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, as well as authentic cuisine at a variety of resort restaurants.

The Dragon is unique to the Asian Zodiac as it is not recognized as a real animal.  It does, however, represent a symbol of power and remains prominent in Chinese astrology.  The Dragon is viewed as a powerful almighty king made up of multiple parts of animals such as the tiger, fish, snake and eagle.  Individuals born in the Year of the Dragon tend to be powerful and often own a sharp tongue.

Lion Dances

The following schedule outlines each lion dance to be held in the respective resort’s main valet and porte cochere:

ARIA – Tuesday, Jan. 24 at 1 p.m.
Crystals – Tuesday, Jan. 24 at 1:30 p.m.
The Mirage – Tuesday, Jan. 24 at 4 p.m.
MGM Grand – Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 1 p.m.
Bellagio – Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 6:30 p.m.

Yau Kung Moon will perform traditional Chinese lion dances at ARIA, Bellagio, MGM Grand and The Mirage.  Yau Kung Moon, which translates to “Style of Flexible Power,” is considered one of the most-respected martial arts, dragon and lion dance organizations in the world.  It is a traditional Southern Shaolin Kung Fu system with more than 1,000 years of history.

In the 1960s, Yau Kung Moon was introduced to the United States by Grandmaster Ha Kwok Cheung’s disciples, Grandmaster Chan Jun Chuen, Grandmaster Wong Cheung and Grandmaster Wan Tak Kee.  They later passed the system onto their disciples, Master Bill Lee, Master Lok Sang Lee, Master Michael Lau and Master David Louie.

Within the lion dancing culture, Yau Kung Moon is considered one of the pioneers of Northern and Southern lion dancing (Nam Si Buk Mo) and has set an exceptionally high standard evidenced by its numerous competitions and performances.  Yau Kung Moon is known for its trademark gold uniforms and innovative routines and has been recognized internationally for being the first U.S. team to compete in the 1990 Invitational World Lion Dance Festival in Malaysia.  The group also has finished as the nine-time undefeated Chinese National Lion Dance Champions.

Crystals at CityCenter

Beginning Saturday, Jan. 7, the Flower Carpet on the first floor of Crystals at CityCenter will be decorated with a 43-foot long and 12-foot high authentic ceremonial dragon chasing a pearl symbolizing the constant pursuit of wisdom.  The dragon will be surrounded by more than 4,000 flowers and plants including China mums, guzmania finest red, vriesea splendens, oncidium orchids, citrus trees and bamboo.

On Tuesday, Jan. 24, Crystals will join ARIA in its celebration with a traditional dragon dance with Kung Fu artists and Chinese performers.  Select Crystals retailers will take part in the traditions involved in the ceremonial dance by feeding the dragon cabbage as a sign of satisfying its needs along with giving the dragon a red envelope with money.  Both customs represent good luck and prosperity in the upcoming year.  The dance is scheduled to begin at approximately

1:30 p.m.

Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens

Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens usher in the Year of the Dragon with a spectacular, complimentary display January 9 – March 4.  This year’s serene sanctuary is guided by the ancient practice of Feng Shui – the art of using surroundings to attract harmony, balance and positive life energy – and its teachings are used to position the flow of water into Bellagio’s Conservatory.

The majestic centerpiece of this year’s exhibit consists of two animated 25-foot Chinese Dragons wrapped around a cylinder of water.  A spectacular photo opportunity presents itself as the Dragons blow steam from their nostrils in an attempt to playfully swat at a legendary, oversized iridescent red pearl hanging directly above.  The pearl, in Chinese lore, represents wealth, good luck and prosperity.

Nearby, two additional animated dragons, green and gold in color, actively lunge in the direction of the centerpiece.  The dragons, 15 feet in length, represent earth and metal and are surrounded by a zig-zag bridge.  The bridge leads to a striking, wing-tipped Ming Dynasty-style gazebo; its design follows the principles of Feng Shui, providing a difficult route for negative energy and bad spirits.

Just steps away in the North Garden, two animated dragons, brown and red, mirror their counterparts.  These dragons represent wood and fire and are joined by silk red Chinese lanterns, a Chinese-style bridge and gold leafed I-Ching coins, a traditional Chinese money symbol.

For the first time during Bellagio’s Chinese New Year display, the Conservatory will host Chinese musicians performing live traditional folk and pop music with authentic Chinese instruments including the erhu, ruan and pipa.  Complimentary performances will take place daily from 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. within the South Garden for the duration of the exhibit.

Culinary Specialties

In celebration of the Year of the Dragon, select MGM Resorts International restaurants will feature specialty menus and authentic cuisine from the Far East.

ARIA – Blossom and Lemongrass will each feature authentic Chinese and Thai cuisine, Friday, Jan. 20 – Wednesday, Feb. 1.  Blossom will be open for a Dim Sum lunch, 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.; dinner, 5:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.; Lemongrass will be open daily with a full menu from 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.  For dining reservations, contact (702) 590-7111 or reserve online at

Bellagio – Jasmine and Noodles will offer guests a Dim Sum lunch buffet at each restaurant from Saturday, Jan. 21 – Sunday, Jan. 29.  Jasmine will serve lunch daily from 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and its regular dinner menu from 5:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.  Noodles will offer its lunch specialties and regular menu items from 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.  The Buffet at Bellagio also will feature gourmet brunch specials Saturday, Jan. 21 – Sunday, Jan. 22 and gourmet dinner specials Friday, Jan. 20 – Sunday, Jan. 22. For dining reservations, contact (702) 693-7223 or reserve online at

MGM Grand – Pearl will offer a traditional Chinese menu in addition to a Dim Sum lunch from Friday, Jan. 20 – Monday, Jan. 30.  Grand Wok will feature a special menu with a variety of select delicacies from Friday, Jan. 20 – Saturday, Feb. 4 while Shibuya also will offer special dishes from Friday, Jan. 20 – Friday, Jan. 27.  For dining reservations and hours of operation, contact (702) 891-1111 or reserve online at

Mandalay Bay – Noodle Shop and Buffet will feature authentic Chinese cuisine for lunch and dinner Friday, Jan. 20 – Thursday, Feb. 9 from 11 a.m. – 1 a.m.  For dining reservations, contact (702) 632-7200 or reserve online at

The Mirage – Fin will be open for dinner and present special Chinese dishes Thursday, Jan. 19 – Monday, Jan. 30 from 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.  For dining reservations, contact (702) 791-7111 or reserve online at

Monte Carlo – On Monday, Jan. 23, Dragon Noodle Co. & Sushi Bar will feature a $29 special pre-fixe menu for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.  For dining reservations, contact (702) 730-7965 or reserve online at

Luxor – Rice & Co. will offer a $65, three-course pre-fixe dinner menu to celebrate Chinese New Year from Monday, Jan. 23 – Thursday, Feb. 9.  Open nightly from 5 p.m. – 11 p.m., dining reservations can be reserved online at or by calling (702) 262-4000.

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