Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens invites guests to celebrate the Year of the Tiger with a festive Lunar New Year display open through March 5.
Designed to bring prosperity and luck to all who visit, the “Eye of the Tiger” display takes guests into a world of legend and myth through a blend of Asian culture and Western ideology.
Complete with lotus flowers, gold coins, silk-lantern chandeliers and a golden representation of the most auspicious character in the Chinese Zodiac, the Tiger, this display is comprised of more than 5,700 plants. The Tiger is the third animal in the Chinese Zodiac and symbolizes strength, passion, bravery and ambition.
A collaborative effort between designer Ed Libby and Bellagio’s horticulture team, the intricate creation is layered with meaningful moments honoring the Year of the Tiger. Each Lunar New Year, the team creates a serene environment guided by the ancient practice of Feng Shui – the art of using surroundings to attract harmony, balance and positive life energy.
“Each of the four beds within the Lunar New Year exhibit incorporates traditional elements with contemporary pieces that add excitement and a fresh perspective to long-standing Asian traditions,” said Ed Libby. “Dramatic and glamorous components are artfully designed, created and arranged in each part of the exhibit for an epic presentation and a feast for the senses.”
The Year of the Tiger takes center stage in the West Bed, starting with a colossal 8,000-pound bronze Tiger quenching his thirst as he drinks from a pond. Two gold Fu Dog fountains flank either side of the Tiger and represent protection and safety, while botanical elements of bamboo, copper cattail plants, giant replicas of cherry blossoms, giant tangerines created with roses and a symbolic money tree made of I Ching coins surround the West Bed, as a symbol of affluence and nobility.
Golden lotus flowers that double as fountains, signifying rebirth and recovery, are nestled within a pool of floating artfully sculpted lily pads. The scene is encapsulated by a red geometrical gate design, creating a stunning focal point in the East Bed. As guests enter the Conservatory on either side of the bed, they’ll be surrounded by the beauty of a golden cherry blossom branch representing their journey to a place of beauty and love. Additionally, four majestic bronze Ding Vessels, symbols of status and power, hold giant burning incense sticks and anchor the east and west sides of the bed.
The focal point of the North Bed is a tea house, representing tradition, hospitality and discipline, overlooking a serene pond with live Koi fish. Tea, which has its roots in China, plays a significant role in Asian culture and is presented during important events and ceremonies. To the right of the tea house, a book of Tong Sing, a tome of wisdom based on the Chinese Almanac, sits atop an intricately carved wooden bench, inviting visitors to reflect on their good fortune. Large peony floral sculptures, representing wealth, power and class, surround the tea house while four majestic jade medallions hang above as a giant moon, reflecting an image of a tiger, shines overhead, lighting the way. Three hand-painted murals of Asian landscapes by the Bellagio Horticulture team complete the setting.
A Knick Knack Peddler, an individual commonly represented in Chinese art signifying learning and new beginnings, is surrounded by children playing in the South Bed. A majestic pagoda stands nearby and is inspired by The Temple of the Six Banyan Trees, an ancient and sacred Buddhist temple in Guangzhou, China built in 537 AD. A giant pomegranate tree surrounds the temple, symbolizing a bountiful year, as live bamboo, citrus and bonsai trees provide greenery throughout.
The Conservatory & Botanical Gardens is complimentary to the public and open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“Eye of the Tiger” Lunar New Year Display by the Numbers
- 8,000: Number of flowers used to create the Knick Knack Peddler and children
- 8,000: Pounds of the bronze tiger
- 5,700: Plants on display throughout the exhibit
- 370: I Ching coins on the gold money tree
- 100: Bonsai trees
- 40: Koi fish in the North Bed, some second and third-generation fish that were born in the Conservatory
- 30 feet: Height of the tiger’s tail
- 4: Number of hanging Jade Medallions created with 3D printers
- 4: Ding Vessels
- 3: Number of tiger representations in the display