BEIJING: For the first time in 94 years, China's Palace Museum - commonly known as the Forbidden City - opened its doors to the public at night, sparking a frenzy for tickets.
The Forbidden City usually closes at 5pm daily. However, it announced on Sunday that it would be lighting up at night on Tuesday and Wednesday to mark the end of the Chinese New Year.
Six thousand tickets for the two-night event were sold out within hours of the launch, local media said.
The Palace Museum's official website temporarily crashed shortly after it opened at midnight, due to an overload of visitors trying to get a ticket.
As night fell, visitors were welcomed by a light show and countdown at the Meridian Gate.
A dazzling array of lights lit up the Supreme Harmony Hall, while Chinese characters and traditional decorations were projected onto the outer walls.
From the square in front of the Supreme Harmony Hall, visitors climbed up and walked along the East Wall which was lit up by red lanterns.
Along the corridor, the ancient Chinese painting, Along the River During the Qingming Festival, was projected onto rooftops.
"In the past, I came here in the daytime and I saw the Forbidden City in sunlight. Today I saw the Forbidden City in moonlight. It certainly feels different," said Zhang Gaiping, a Beijing resident.