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Palace Museum to restore Qing palace Spring Festival celebration scenes

Updated: 2019-01-03 17:28:36

( bodog www.emersonvisualarts.com )

[Photo/Xinhua]

The Palace Museum will restore scenes showing how the imperial palace celebrated the Spring Festival in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It will be the first?time for ordinary people to experience how the Lunar New Year was observed inside the palace.

The exhibition New Year Greetings - Celebrating Spring Festival in the Forbidden City will have the most cultural relics and the largest area of any exhibition since the establishment of the Palace Museum. While only 100 relics usually go on display in most exhibitions, this event will feature 885 pieces and the venue will stretch throughout the entire open area of the Palace Museum. According to China Youth Daily on Wednesday, the exhibition will start Jan 28 and end Feb 12.

"The theme of Chinese New Year is to bid farewell to the old year and ring in the new year," said Shan Jixiang, director of the Palace Museum. In the exhibition, the audience can see not only familiar scenes and objects in their daily life, but also novel discoveries.

On the stairs of?Qianqing Gong (the Palace of Heavenly Purity), tall palace lamps are lit up. It marks the first time that the Palace Museum has restored the Sky Lantern, a type of small hot-air balloon that originated in China centuries ago, and the Wanshou Lantern, used to pray for longevity, as both had disappeared for nearly 200 years. Since Emperor Daoguang (1782-1850) abolished the celebration in 1840, the prosperous scene had disappeared for centuries, and the relevant relics had been scattered everywhere and gradually became unknown.

The Palace Museum researchers did a lot of documental research to learn about the usage of the Sky Lantern and Longevity Lights, as well as their histories and the detailed sizes of each part of the lanterns. They also found models and the lanterns' bodies and poles, and were able to successfully restore them, reviving some of the prosperity of the celebrations during the reigns of emperors Kangxi and Qianlong.

This exhibition also gives visitors the chance to compare five different characters of "fu" (福), meaning "good fortune", from five different emperors of the Qing Dynasty: Kangxi, Yongzheng, Qianlong, Jiaqing and Daoguang. The Yangxin Dian (the Hall of Mental Cultivation) also allows people a rare opportunity to see Emperor Qianlong's handwriting in Spring Festival couplets on display.

The new exhibition will also feature Zhong He Shao Yue, the ancient imperial court music used in sacrificial ceremonies and other important occasions. The form of music involves 18 types of instruments, and six of the most distinctive instruments have been selected for performances.

Shan said that when Spring Festival came, watching the festival gala and visiting temple fairs were probably the most popular entertainment.?In recent years, more and more individuals have enjoyed spending their Spring Festival holidays at the museum, experiencing different celebrations in a cultural atmosphere.

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