Lighting Show In Beijing's Forbidden City

- May 02, 2019-

source from: edition.cnn.com

For the first time in 94 years, Beijing's Palace Museum, commonly known as the Forbidden City, opened its doors to the public after dark -- and with spectacular results.

The special event, taking place February 19-20, forms part of Beijing's Lantern Festival celebration, which marks the end of the Lunar New Year holiday.
The Forbidden City normally closes to tourists at around 4:30 p.m. in the winter and 5 p.m. in the summer. 
On Tuesday night, about 3,000 lucky visitors entered the Forbidden City's gates to take in the dramatic displays, which include lantern shows, symphony orchestra performances and projections of ancient Chinese paintings.

Forbidden City night tour

Among them was Zhang Zhifu, a 77-year-old public security volunteer who received a free ticket from the government as a token of gratitude for her volunteer work.
"I grew up in Beijing and I visit the Forbidden City every year, but I've never got to see it at night until today," Zhang tells CNN Travel.
Holding a Chinese national flag in her hand, Zhang says she appreciates the government's gesture.

Despite the chilly winter night -- and not having a ticket -- visitors crowded the perimeter of the ancient imperial palace to get a glimpse of the light show on its first night.


Despite the chilly winter night -- and not having a ticket -- visitors crowded the perimeter of the ancient imperial palace to get a glimpse of the light show on its first night.

Completed in 1420, the Forbidden City was the home of emperors and served as the political center of China for over 500 years.
Back in the day, celebrating the Lantern Festival in the Forbidden City was a tradition reserved for Imperial families.
But concerns about protecting the landmark's ancient architecture -- which is mostly made of wood -- from fire hazards arose and the tradition died out.
Festival organizers planning this year's Lantern Festival event are using LED lights rather than traditional paper lanterns and red candles, reports local media.

With the museum being a cultural icon featured countless times in Chinese TV series and novels, news of the evening visits led some enthusiastic fans to let their imaginations run wild.