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Palace Museum unveils 2020 calendar

By Wang Kaihao | China Daily | Updated: 2019-08-27 09:31
A visitor looks through the calendar for 2020-the Year of the Rat-released by the Palace Museum at a launch ceremony for the calendar in Beijing on Monday.[Photo by Jiang Dong/China Daily]

The Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, welcomed the Year of the Rat a bit early by releasing its new calendar on Monday.

Next year marks the 600th anniversary of the founding of the Forbidden City, China's imperial palace from 1420 to 1911 and the world's largest wooden complex.

The calendar will also be special because 2020 is a leap year, so it will have 366 individual pages.

On each page of the calendar, published by the Forbidden City Publishing House, a collection of the museum or an area in the imperial architectural compound will be introduced through text and abundant pictures to give readers a panoramic understanding of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A Chinese-English bilingual version will also be released, as well as a special version with simple language for children.

"The calendar is designed to be a window for the public to appreciate the lasting charm of traditional Chinese culture and tantalizing craftsmanship," said Wang Xudong, director of the Palace Museum. "And they can enjoy it just by turning the pages every morning."

As an institution covering 720,000 square meters and housing 1.86 million cultural relics, the museum surveyed its employees to think of ways to promote its "treasures" to the general public.

"We want to wake up the sleeping cultural legacies in our museum to more people," Wang said.

The Chinese zodiac has been used as a key theme in the calendar each year.

"Rats are seen as symbols of agility, wisdom and prosperity in these cultural relics," said Chen Lihua, editor-in-chief of the calendar.

What makes the new calendar different from usual years is that it provides an encyclopedic guide to the compound, including some areas temporarily closed to the public.

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