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January 22, 2019

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Yuyuan’s leading lights draw tourists to the Year of the Pig

Colorful festive lanterns have been lit up at Yuyuan Garden since yesterday. The event attracts millions of visitors each Chinese New Year and will last till February 22.

Thirty-nine installations come alive at 5:30pm every evening. The major draw is a 9-meter-tall pig dressed like the god of wealth to mark the Year of the Pig.

Other lanterns involve the city’s unique shikumen architecture, typical dishes and folk culture. A series of lanterns promotes Shanghai brands. The 24 solar terms are displayed on some of the lanterns.

“It is the only event in Shanghai that makes me feel authentic Chinese elements and flavor,” said Thierry Sauvage from France who has lived by the garden for seven years.

Jack de Marseille, a DJ, also from France, visited the garden about a decade ago and has returned this year.

“Elsewhere Shanghai has been developing rapidly, but history blended with a modern atmosphere during the lantern festival remains the same,” de Marseille said.

Huabao Tower in Yuyuan Garden Malls has mounted an exhibition of about 100 replicas of the Xiaojiaochang woodblock prints during the festival.

The Xiaojiaochang prints take their name from the City God Temple area near the garden. They depict city life in the early 1900s, with locomotives, telephones, nightclubs, circus performers, Westerners enjoying the Lantern Festival and other aspects of life not traditionally seen in folk art.

The annual celebrations, which have been held for 24 years, have become the city’s top attraction for tourists during Spring Festival.

The month-long celebration attracts about 6 million visitors every year.

To ensure order and safety, the gates of the garden and the Zigzag Bridge will be closed when the number of visitors touches the 30,000 mark. Surveillance cameras have been installed at the eight entrances.

Entry to the Yuyuan Garden commercial complex is free except between February 15 and 18, when entry will be 50 yuan (US$7.46) for adults and 30 yuan for children.

On February 19, Lantern Festival, the fee will be 80 yuan for adults and 50 yuan for children.


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