Beijing's Forbidden City illuminated for Lantern Festival

Visitors watch the Wumen Gate wall of the Forbidden City is illuminated during the Lantern Festival in Beijing, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019. Beijing's Palace Museum was illuminated and opened for night visits to celebrate China's Lantern Festival. For the first time since it was established 94 years ago, the Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, extended opening hours till nighttime and lit up part of its cultural relics buildings. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Visitors watch the Wumen Gate wall of the Forbidden City is illuminated during the Lantern Festival in Beijing, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019. Beijing's Palace Museum was illuminated and opened for night visits to celebrate China's Lantern Festival. For the first time since it was established 94 years ago, the Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, extended opening hours till nighttime and lit up part of its cultural relics buildings. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Visitors tour the Forbidden City decorated with red lanterns and illuminated with lights during the Lantern Festival in Beijing, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019. Beijing's Palace Museum was illuminated and opened for night visits to celebrate China's Lantern Festival. For the first time since it was established 94 years ago, the Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, extended opening hours till nighttime and lit up part of its cultural relics buildings. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Visitors watch the Forbidden City is illuminated with colorful lights during the Lantern Festival in Beijing, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019. Beijing's Palace Museum was illuminated and opened for night visits to celebrate China's Lantern Festival. For the first time since it was established 94 years ago, the Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, extended opening hours till nighttime and lit up part of its cultural relics buildings. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Visitors take souvenir photos of the Forbidden City illuminated with lights during the Lantern Festival in Beijing, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019. Beijing's Palace Museum was illuminated and opened for night visits to celebrate China's Lantern Festival. For the first time since it was established 94 years ago, the Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, extended opening hours till nighttime and lit up part of its cultural relics buildings. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
The Wumen Gate wall of the Forbidden City is illuminated during the Lantern Festival in Beijing, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019. Beijing's Palace Museum was illuminated and opened for night visits to celebrate China's Lantern Festival. For the first time since it was established 94 years ago, the Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, extended opening hours till nighttime and lit up part of its cultural relics buildings. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

BEIJING — Beijing's Forbidden City has been illuminated and opened to the public for night visits for the first time to celebrate China's Lantern Festival.

As night fell, visitors were welcomed by a light show at the Meridian Gate exhibition hall. A dazzling array of lights also lit up the Supreme Harmony Hall. Chinese characters and traditional decorations were projected on the outer walls.

Along a corridor, the ancient Chinese painting "Along the River During the Qingming Festival" was projected on rooftops.

The Forbidden City, which was China's political center for more than 500 years, is now known as the Palace Museum. China's Lantern Festival marks the end of Lunar New Year festivities.

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