Beijing’s Forbidden City illuminated for Lantern Festival

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.

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Lunar New Year celebrations at the Forbidden City
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Lunar New Year celebrations at the Forbidden City
In this Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, photo, visitors watch the Wumen Gate wall of the Forbidden City illuminated with lights for the Lantern Festival in Beijing. China lit up the Forbidden City on Tuesday night, marking the end of 15 days of lunar new year celebrations. It was not a Lantern Festival the last emperor, who abdicated in 1912, would have recognized. There were lanterns, but those lucky enough to snag tickets saw a laser light show and historic buildings bathed in colorful lights. Others watched from outside the vast walled compound in Beijing, from where Ming and Qing dynasty emperors ruled for five centuries. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
In this Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, photo, a Peking Opera artist performs in the Forbidden City which lit up by lights for the Lantern Festival in Beijing. China lit up the Forbidden City on Tuesday night, marking the end of 15 days of lunar new year celebrations. It was not a Lantern Festival the last emperor, who abdicated in 1912, would have recognized. There were lanterns, but those lucky enough to snag tickets saw a laser light show and historic buildings bathed in colorful lights. Others watched from outside the vast walled compound in Beijing, from where Ming and Qing dynasty emperors ruled for five centuries. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
In this Feb. 19, 2019, photo, visitors take photos outside the Forbidden City to catch a glimpse of the evening lights in Beijing. China lit up the Forbidden City on Tuesday night, marking the end of 15 days of lunar new year celebrations. It was not a Lantern Festival the last emperor, who abdicated in 1912, would have recognized. There were lanterns, but those lucky enough to snag tickets saw a laser light show and historic buildings bathed in colorful lights. Others watched from outside the vast walled compound in Beijing, from where Ming and Qing dynasty emperors ruled for five centuries. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
In this Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, photo, the Forbidden City is projected with colorful lights for the Lantern Festival in Beijing. China lit up the Forbidden City on Tuesday night, marking the end of 15 days of lunar new year celebrations. It was not a Lantern Festival the last emperor, who abdicated in 1912, would have recognized. There were lanterns, but those lucky enough to snag tickets saw a laser light show and historic buildings bathed in colorful lights. Others watched from outside the vast walled compound in Beijing, from where Ming and Qing dynasty emperors ruled for five centuries. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
In this Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, photo, visitors is silhouetted as they tour the Forbidden City decorated with red lanterns and projected with lights for the Lantern Festival in Beijing. China lit up the Forbidden City on Tuesday night, marking the end of 15 days of lunar new year celebrations. It was not a Lantern Festival the last emperor, who abdicated in 1912, would have recognized. There were lanterns, but those lucky enough to snag tickets saw a laser light show and historic buildings bathed in colorful lights. Others watched from outside the vast walled compound in Beijing, from where Ming and Qing dynasty emperors ruled for five centuries. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
In this Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, photo, a family take selfie with the Wumen Gate wall of the Forbidden City illuminated with lights for the Lantern Festival in Beijing. China lit up the Forbidden City on Tuesday night, marking the end of 15 days of lunar new year celebrations. It was not a Lantern Festival the last emperor, who abdicated in 1912, would have recognized. There were lanterns, but those lucky enough to snag tickets saw a laser light show and historic buildings bathed in colorful lights. Others watched from outside the vast walled compound in Beijing, from where Ming and Qing dynasty emperors ruled for five centuries. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
In this Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, photo, visitors tour the Forbidden City decorated with red lanterns and illuminated with lights for the Lantern Festival in Beijing. China lit up the Forbidden City on Tuesday night, marking the end of 15 days of lunar new year celebrations. It was not a Lantern Festival the last emperor, who abdicated in 1912, would have recognized. There were lanterns, but those lucky enough to snag tickets saw a laser light show and historic buildings bathed in colorful lights. Others watched from outside the vast walled compound in Beijing, from where Ming and Qing dynasty emperors ruled for five centuries. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
A light show inside the Forbidden City is seen during a cultural event celebrating the Lantern Festival, the end to the Lunar New Year festivities, in Beijing on February 19, 2019. - The event marks the first time the Forbidden City has been lit up at night in 94 years since opening to the public. (Photo by NICOLAS ASFOURI / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)
A light show inside the Forbidden City is seen during a cultural event celebrating the Lantern Festival, the end to the Lunar New Year festivities, in Beijing on February 19, 2019. - The event marks the first time the Forbidden City has been lit up at night in 94 years since opening to the public. (Photo by NICOLAS ASFOURI / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)
A visitor takes a picture of the Forbidden City decorated with red lanterns that is lit up during an event to celebrate the Chinese Lantern Festival on the last day of the lunar new year celebrations in Beijing, China February 19, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee
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Along a corridor, the ancient Chinese painting Along The River During The Qingming Festival was projected on rooftops.

The Forbidden City, which served as China's political centre 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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