ince becoming a world-famous tourist attraction, Beijing’s Forbidden City has closed to guests each afternoon at around 5 pm. However, Tuesday night was a historic one with the former imperial residence breaking from precedent and throwing its first-ever nighttime public bash.
To mark Lantern Festival, the end of the Lunar New Year holiday, the Forbidden City stayed open into the night, treating 3,000 lucky guests (reportedly including “model workers, delivery men, and sanitation workers”) to enjoy watching festive performances and light shows inside the main grounds of the palace complex
Internet livestreams from inside of the Forbidden City went viral on Tuesday night with millions watching the celebrations from the comfort of their own homes. While the event was mostly applauded, some netizens did protest that the party didn’t quite do justice to the gravity and beauty of the historical site.
“The light show is so tacky. It’s like they turned the place into a cheap nightclub,” reads one popular comment.