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AP PHOTOS: Red lanterns, lasers light up the Forbidden City

In this Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, photo, a firefighter walks by the Forbidden City projected with colourful 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)

The Lantern Festival that lit up Beijing’s Forbidden City on Tuesday night was not one the last emperor would have recognized.

The festival marking the end of 15 days of lunar new year celebrations included traditional red-paper lanterns. But people lucky enough to snag tickets also saw a laser light show and the compound’s historic buildings bathed in colorful lights projecting Chinese characters, paintings and decorations.

Many people watched from outside the vast palace compound in Beijing, from where Ming and Qing dynasty emperors ruled for five centuries before the last emperor abdicated in 1912.

The Palace Museum, established 94 years ago, was allowing the public inside at night for the first time for the light show and traditional opera performances on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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