Las Vegas, Casinos Celebrates Year of the Rabbit

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The Year of the Rabbit is underway in Las Vegas. Festivities marking the start of the new lunar year began on Sunday and will continue for the next two weeks.

Vida Lin, president and founder of the Las Vegas-based Asian Community Development Council (ACDC), center. She was honored this month for her many contributions to the community. (Image: Asian Community Development Council)

Lion dances, multicourse meals, and the playing of games are among the more popular new year traditions celebrated in Nevada and around the world.

Vida Lin, president and founder of the Las Vegas-based Asian Community Development Council (ACDC) and a former president of Nevada’s Asian Chamber of Commerce, explained that the lunar new year for the Asian community “is huge.”

Lin came to Las Vegas 28 years ago. Her family is from the Canton region of China. Lin’s extensive efforts to help the Asian and Asian Pacific lslander community led Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and the City Council to honor her. Jan. 18, 2023, was proclaimed Vida Lin Day in Las Vegas.

“This year should be calmer,” Lin told “The Year of the Rabbit is a year with more peace and respect, and [a time that] we work together.”

A Calmer Year Ahead

Each lunar year has an animal associated with it under the zodiac calendar. Lin said it is significant this year is the Year of the Rabbit. The animal represents the qualities of peacefulness, gentleness, being calm, and being smart, she explained.

Preparations for the new year began last week with the tradition of cleaning one’s house. Over the weekend, many celebrated by gambling and playing games, such as mahjong. In fact, gambling on the new year is a tradition, Lin said.

Envelopes containing cash often are given to unmarried children, with wishes for a long life and a happy new year.

Last year was the Year of the Tiger.

A lion dance held last year in Las Vegas during the Year of the Tiger. The dances are a way to usher in good luck for the lunar new year. (Image: KSNV)

Casino Activities

High rollers often visit Las Vegas casinos during the initial weeks of the new year, and the properties often offer special events to help celebrate the lunar new year.

Eight- or nine-course meals are often served at casinos during this time, as the numbers eight and nine are associated with luck and prosperity. There are also family activities and drawings for various prizes, including cash or even a car.

Most of the large casinos have some event,” Lin told

“Lunar New Year is an important holiday for many of our team members and guests at Caesars Entertainment Las Vegas Resorts, as well as the greater Las Vegas community,” Sean McBurney, regional president of Caesars Entertainment, told “We look forward to celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with colorful decor, lively lion dances, and special food and beverage offerings for all to enjoy. We wish everyone a year filled with prosperity, abundance, and good fortune.”

Caesars Palace will have a lion dance starting at 5 p.m. on Saturday. Lin explained the lion dance is seen as a way to get rid of evil spirits and to start the new year with good luck.

Continued Representation

The Asian community continues to be prominent in Nevada, particularly in Clark County. Asians represent about 13% of Nevada’s population. The Asian and Asian Pacific Islander community in Nevada numbers about 380K, and there are more than 32K Asian-owned businesses in Nevada.

However, throughout the US, many people are unfamiliar with Asian culture and history, Lin said. One way that the wider community could become more familiar with the history, traditions, and contributions of the Asian community is to include more Asian studies in public schools as part of the kindergarten through grade 12 curriculum, Lin said.

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