Brian Wu hoisted his six-year-old daughter onto his shoulders at The Mirage hotel-casino so the delighted little girl could get a better look at the leaping dragons shimmying to a boisterous drumbeat.
For Wu’s daughter, Yvonne, this is what Chinese New Year is all about. The Wu family, who live near Los Angeles, have celebrated the holiday on the Las Vegas Strip every year she and her 8-year-old brother have been alive.
Like thousands of American Chinese, the family flocks in for lion dances, special meals, Canto-pop concerts and elaborate decorations that have made this gambling capital a key destination for the event. The two-week Chinese New Year period, which began on February 3 and celebrates the Year of the Rabbit, is now the second biggest wagering event of the year for Las Vegas, tying New Year’s Eve and just behind the Super Bowl which, this year, happens to also fall the same weekend.