In pictures: China's Forbidden City opens at night for the first time in 94 years

In pictures: China's Forbidden City opens at night for the first time in 94 years

China's Forbidden City opens at night for the first time in 94 years
An array of lights brightens up the Forbidden City during a cultural event celebrating the Lantern Festival, the end to the Lunar New Year festivities, in Beijing. (Photo: AFP/NICOLAS ASFOURI)

BEIJING: For the first time in 94 years, China's Palace Museum - commonly known as the Forbidden City - opened its doors to the public at night, sparking a frenzy for tickets.

Forbidden City lights up
The Forbidden City, or Palace Museum, was opened at night for the first time in 94 years. (Photo: Channel NewsAsia/Olivia Siong)

The Forbidden City usually closes at 5pm daily. However, it announced on Sunday that it would be lighting up at night on Tuesday and Wednesday to mark the end of the Chinese New Year.

Six thousand tickets for the two-night event were sold out within hours of the launch, local media said.

The Palace Museum's official website temporarily crashed shortly after it opened at midnight, due to an overload of visitors trying to get a ticket.

China's Forbidden City opens at night for the first time in 94 years (1)
(Photo: AFP/NICOLAS ASFOURI)

China's Forbidden City opens at night for the first time in 94 years
(Photo: AFP/NICOLAS ASFOURI)

As night fell, visitors were welcomed by a light show and countdown at the Meridian Gate.

A dazzling array of lights lit up the Supreme Harmony Hall, while Chinese characters and traditional decorations were projected onto the outer walls.

Forbidden City lights up (1)
The Forbidden City, or Palace Museum, was opened at night for the first time in 94 years. (Photo: Channel NewsAsia/Olivia Siong)

China's Forbidden City opens at night for the first time in 94 years (1)
(Photo: AFP/NICOLAS ASFOURI)

From the square in front of the Supreme Harmony Hall, visitors climbed up and walked along the East Wall which was lit up by red lanterns.

Forbidden City lights up 3
The Forbidden City, or Palace Museum, was opened at night for the first time in 94 years. (Photo: Channel NewsAsia/Olivia Siong)

Forbidden City lights up 4
The Forbidden City, or Palace Museum, was opened at night for the first time in 94 years. (Photo: Channel NewsAsia/Olivia Siong)

Along the corridor, the ancient Chinese painting, Along the River During the Qingming Festival, was projected onto rooftops.

"In the past, I came here in the daytime and I saw the Forbidden City in sunlight. Today I saw the Forbidden City in moonlight. It certainly feels different," said Zhang Gaiping, a Beijing resident.

China's Forbidden City opens at night for the first time in 94 years (2)
(Photo: AFP/NICOLAS ASFOURI)

China's Forbidden City opens at night for the first time in 94 years (2)
(Photo: AFP/NICOLAS ASFOURI)

Source: CNA/Agencies/nh

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