Thursday, February 21, 2013

Ameristar Welcomes the Year of the Snake in Black Hawk, Colorado

For the second year in a row 
Terry and I enjoyed welcoming in 
the Chinese or Lunar New Year,
the Year of the Snake, 4711,
at the Ameristar in Black Hawk, Colorado.

Ameristar, Black Hawk, Colorado

The snake is the sixth animal
in the 12-year cycle of animals
in the Chinese Zodiac or
The Shēngxiào (Chinese: 生肖). 

The Chinese Zodiac is widely used 
in such East Asian countries 
as Vietnam, Korea, Japan, and China.

A legend relates that the order 
of the twelve animals 
in the Chinese Zodiac 
was determined by 
a race across a wide river.

The snake was not a good swimmer, 
so it hitched a ride on the hoof of a horse.
Just as the horse was about to cross the finish line, 
the snake jumped out, 
scared the horse, 
and came in sixth,
ahead of the horse 
that was now in seventh place.

Daoist (Taoist) Symbols Carved in Stone: 
Yin-Yang and Animals of the Chinese Zodiac. 
Qingyanggong temple, Chengdu, Sichuan, China.

According to the Chinese Zodiac,
the personality of a person
is influenced by the animal sign
ruling at that person's time of birth.

Snakes are considered intelligent,
but somewhat unscrupulous
in the
symbol system of China.

Snake - Chinese Zodiac Signs

People born in a Year of the Snake 
are intuitive, private, and reticent.

They possess wisdom and intelligence, 
and they are great thinkers.

They are also materialistic
and want to accumulate symbols of status.

Their lucky numbers are 2, 8, and 9.
Their lucky colors are black, pale yellow, and red.

Their birth years include:
1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965,
1977, 1989, 2011, and 2013.

The next Year of the Snake will be in 2025

Terry and I attended a Chinese New Year Banquet 
in the Ameristar's Summit Ballroom.

The menu included traditional dishes 
such as pork, fish, longevity noodles, 
and mandarin oranges.

After dinner guests enjoyed
a Lion Dance presented by
Colorado Asian Cultural Heritage Center's
Dragon and Lion Dance Troupe.

Lion's Head

Preparing for the Dance

Lion Dance


As guests departed they received 
a traditional gift of a red envelope
containing an even number of dollars.

Terry and I stopped for a picture
with our host, Nam.

Of the possible choices, 
$8, $88, or $888,
I picked $8.00!
Maybe we'll have better luck next year!

The Ameristar was decorated for the occasion,
with traditional symbols of good luck 
scattered about the casino.

Ameristar presented a second Lion Dance 
for guests on the casino floor.

The Lion Dancers Checked Out 
the Equipment Carefully Before the Dance.

The festive evening ended well
for one lucky blogger!

Royal Flush!

To see the Winners of the 2012 
World Lion Dance Championships 
~ Hong Teik, Malaysia ~
 check out this video
suggested to me by BIKBIK and RORO!

To hear Canadian Celine Dion and 
Chinese Song Zuying singing 
the Jasmine Flower (Mo Li Hua 茉莉花) 
in CHINESE on China's Central Television's 
Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) Grand Gala
check out this video.


Happy New Year!


  1. What a beautiful hotel and lunar new year celebration! No wonder you like going there. Love all these great photos -- thanks! And Celine Dion's debut singing in Chinese got big play here in Canada too! Wonder what that cost them, LOL?

  2. Thank you for the kind comment, Debra! We had a wonderful evening, and I can't wait to go again next year!

  3. OH, I loved this post! So happy and joyful, thanks for letting me tag along.
    This means my son was born in the Year of the Snake, I don't know about the reticent part about him!! :-)

  4. Hi Kay! I have to agree that your son didn't look too reticent when he was singing carols in your post at Christmas last year! I'm glad that you enjoyed my post! Thanks for the affirming comment!

  5. Wow, amazing! The photos are spectacular, and it looks like so much fun. I absolutely adore celebrations like this, and love learning about different customs and cultures.

    1. Hi Martha! Thank you for the kind words about my post! I had so much fun enjoying the events and taking the pictures!
      The lions seemed real, and the acrobatics involved ~ wow!

  6. Wow, wow, wow! Amazing photos. What a fantastic snake party and celebration of the snake, so wrongfully disliked by so many. The culinary experience you share is a veritable visual feast for the eyes and tummy. Lucky you. All the best. Mark (Monkey man - 1956).

    1. Hi Mark! Thank you! Your comment made my day! The food was delicious, especially the oysters on the half shell and the roasted pig. We had a blast! I'm a Tiger lady - 1950, and Terry is a Rabbit - 1951! Have a great evening!

  7. So cool, Louise! I was always intrigued by Chinese New Year and that looks like such a fun celebration. The Lion Dance video is UNREAL. Those are some very brave people. Thanks so much for sharing this! I did a post about the Chinese zodiac calendar a couple of years ago after I did a bunch of research. It's so interesting!

    1. Hi Audrey! I'm glad that you enjoyed the Lion Dance Video that BIKBIK and RORO sent me the link for. These local Colorado kids did some amazing stunts in their dances and the champions in the video ~ unbelievable! And the lions seem so real! It was fun learning something about the Chinese Zodiac today. It's something I'd like to learn more about! Have a good evening!

  8. What a fun get-away. All that food and fun, and you were a winner to boot!
    I could not believe that video!

  9. Hi Terry! We had a blast, and of course, a Royal Flush was the icing on the cake! I couldn't believe the lion dance in the video either! The dancers made dangerous stunts look easy! I hope that you have had a good evening!

  10. Hello Louise,
    Wow, you really welcomed the new year in, what style! The food looks really wonderful! Great post, happy you had such a good/lucky evening!
    All the best... 'Monkey' Man!

  11. Hi Ivan!
    Thank you for your kind comment!

    The food was delicious! I saw the chefs carry in a whole pig and place it at the carving station. Unfortunately my hands were full of plates, so I didn't get a photo of that. But I dumped the plates at our table and ran back to snap a photo before the pig had been carved too much. They served a minimum of six pigs at the three banquet settings! Amazing!

    There was lots of other food, all traditionally Chinese, but I wanted to snap the visually exciting ones. Plus it's hard to get some things without including random guests up close. I had a lot of fun photographing the events.

    Have a happy and restful weekend!

  12. Magnificent series on the snake and the chinese New Year!
    The Daoist Symbols are truly elegant!
    Thanks for sharing this with us!
    Cheers Fundy!

    1. Thank you for kind words, Noushka! I'm glad that you enjoyed the post. It was a great evening for Terry and me! I hope you are enjoying a good weekend!

  13. Looks like it was a wonderful party and I agree with Noushka as I too was quite taken with the symbols. As for the video of our Miss Celine Dion and her Chinese twin - SCAREY to think that there are two of them out there! hahaha.

    1. Hi Francie! Yes, it was a wonderful party! I am quite fascinated with China, and I would love to travel there and see it first hand. I guess with Celine either you love her or hate her! My family is divided on the issue! We've had heated discussions! I've seen her in Las Vegas three times now. She did an awesome job singing in Mandarin (I think that's the correct language)! Now her Chinese twin should come to Canada and sing with her in English or maybe Las Vegas! Have a nice, warm weekend. I think we're in for more snow ~ yeah, we need it!

  14. Replies
    1. Oi Fernando! Obrigado por deixar um comentário tipo no meu blog! Eu aprecio o complemento sobre minhas fotos tanto porque você é uma excelente fotógrafo! Tenha um bom fim de semana!

  15. SO sorry I`m late in commenting, another bug got me and Jimbo too.

    Seeing the celebration and the smiles on your faces, just made me feel better, Louise. They really know how to put on a spread, all that food and merriment. Love the smiles on your faces. I can`t express how happy this post makes me. Your retirement is treating you well.

    I checked out my Year of .... and it is confusing because on one line Jan 3rd 1950 says I`m an OX while the next line says I`m a TIGER just like you! What do you think? Must look at the traits and choose the most appropriate LOL!

    The view from the hotel must be spectacular. I can only imagine. I was just saying to Jim that you could/should do some posts on your neighbourhood, city and Denver. I know I`d enjoy that immensely. No pressure, just an idea for the future.

    So you did win big! Makes the trip all worth it,eh!

    Well, hope your weekend is bright and sunny, ours is and I need to shake this bug!

    All the best my Nova Scotian friend.


  16. Ron, I'm so sorry that you and Jimbo are under the weather! I hope that Sophie is giving you lots of love and snuggles!

    I'm glad you enjoyed the post! We had so much fun, and I am fascinated with Asian culture. Yes, I won big! First RF in a year. Terry won bigger ~ he is lucky! Then when you throw in free room, food, drinks! We go a lot, so we get deals!

    I thank God every day that I was fortunate enough to be able to retire when I did.

    You take care!

    1. I'd take advantage of the deals too, if I had the chance. A RF cetrtainly must have made you squeal. I'd be muffling myself while Jim would hold my should er down.
      We so enjoy Asian food as well and will probably find a place to eat in the next week or so, love ginger beef!

      Have a great w/e, you TIGER you!!

      Ron ~~~ OX or Tiger I'll figure it out!

    2. Hi again!
      RFs always make me squeal! It is very exciting! They don't come up very often though. I think the odds are 1/42,000 hands ~ something on that order.

      Ginger beef is yummy. I'm hoping to get some while I'm up in Calgary.

      I'll have to look into the Ox/Tiger mystery too!

      Have a great rest of the weekend!

    3. I looked at your other links and one of them indicated that I was a I'll go with that. Hey that means we are both Tigers...Grrrr!

      You'll be in Calgary soon, eh!? What fun. I just saw the zoo on The Mercer Report on CBC...Rick Mercer is so funny from NL...he was at the Calgary zoo and did a piece on the Emperor Penguins...he really is clever. He also does a lot of "Rants" on his show...very smack dab in your face smart he is!


    4. Go Tigers, Grrrr!
      I have been to the Calgary Zoo many times. Denver's too. I often took my kiddos on field trips to the Denver Zoo. One year I got them all revved up to see the beavers in the cutaway beaver lodge at the zoo. I had parent volunteers and kiddos running all over trying to find the beavers ~ and then I remembered that they were at the Calgary Zoo! Oops! Try explaining that one to a busload of parents and kiddos. Fortunately I found a good video and ordered it!

      All you need to say is that Rick Mercer is from NL and you've got me! I'll have to see if I can get something on You Tube! I like rants. I rant a lot! :)

    5. Seriously, find some Rick's Rants and you'll just sit there spellbound. He has this way of take the topic embellishing with clever wit and having it all come back and bite the offender on the arse!
      That pretty much tells it all.


    6. Found your message, Ron! Thanks for clueing me in! Now, if I can just remember to subscribe when I need to. Have a happy day!

  17. Just look at the setting of that place! Couldn't be more beautiful!
    Looks like a wonderful time was had by all Louise! And to win too! Perfect weekend for you and Terry.
    Now I am hungry for Asian food.

    1. Hi Jim!
      Asian food is the best! I particularly like Thai, although I'll try most things (non-veggie!). We ate things in Hong Kong and Borneo that I have no clue what they were ~ but they were good! I hope you don't go hungry for Asian food too long.

      I'm going up to cook a very American dinner for Terry and my sister-in-law Noreen: pork tenderloin, asparagus, potatoes, and a blueberry/lettuce salad. She's been living mostly on vegetarian fare in New Delhi.

      Have a good evening!


Thank you for your comments! I appreciate the time and energy you put into making them very much.