Photos by © Erik Kabik/ RETNA/ www.erikkabik.com
Caesars Palace Roman figures Julius Caesar and Cleopatra welcomed the crowd and introduced Caesars Palace President Gary Selesner on Sunday, February 6 at the resort’s main entrance/porte-cochere.
In honor of 2011 the Year of the Rabbit, Bobby Flay, executive chef of Mesa Grill ‘painted the eyes’ on the lion. Ancient tradition states the spirit of the lion must be awakened through the Hoi Gong ceremony where the eyes are painted or dotted on. Also present to paint the lion’s eyes were Caesars Palace President Gary Selesner and Caesars Entertainment Western Division President Tom Jenkin. Festive music played, drums and symbols were heard while five colorful lions performed and masked characters danced. Firecrackers were lit to ward off evil spirits. The lion dance parade continued inside the resort where lettuce was flung as a sign of prosperity.
Traditional red and gold decorations, red azaleas, red tulips cherry blossoms, red and gold hanging lanterns, and golden statues of the symbols of the Chinese lunar zodiac are displayed throughout the resort. Resort marquees along the Las Vegas Strip display a Chinese language message wishing all a Happy New Year.