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A rare chance to visit the Forbidden City at night

By Xu Lin | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-02-23 13:18

Beijing's Palace Museum recently announced it would open parts of its outer walls at no cost to a limited number of visitors at night on Tuesday and Wednesday. Lantern Festival, the 15th day of the first month on the Chinese calendar, fell on Tuesday.

The museum has never opened nighttime visits to the public, except in 2015, when many visitors lined up and stayed late there for a special exhibit.

Visitors had to book reservations on the museum's website, and nighttime tickets were soon snapped up. It's reported that there were only 3,000 tickets available for Wednesday night. Visitors were allowed to enter the palace, starting from 6: 30 pm on that day.

With a beautiful backdrop of the round moon, they climbed up to the Meridian Gate and walked through the southern and eastern sections of walls, which were lighted by red lanterns, and watched exhibitions in the ancient turrets.

While strolling on the walls, they also enjoyed four classic Peking Opera performances, which were played on the Studio of Unimpeded Sound, an opera house in the palace.

A digital projection on some of the palace's roofs is about two famous paintings from the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127), Riverside Scene at the Qingming Festival and A Panorama of Rivers and Mountains.They are among the museum's important collections.

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