Lanterns lit for the Lunar New Year celebration at Yuyuan Garden

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

A centerpiece lantern and art installation are lit at Yuyuan Garden shopping malls on Tuesday evening.

Shanghai’s iconic Yuyuan Garden Malls launched its annual Chinese New Year celebration on Tuesday, featuring traditional lanterns and heritage crafts, amid strict COVID-19 prevention measures.

Hundreds of colorful lanterns, listed as national cultural heritage, will come alive every evening from Tuesday, featuring various cartoon figures of the tiger to mark the Year of the Tiger.

Various traditional lanterns, such as the palace painting, flower and New Year lanterns, with New Year wishes to visitors, such as “healthy”, “happy” and “wealthy”, were lit throughout the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) style buildings. The lights will stay on until February 18.

The shopping malls, restaurants and shops near the historic garden were born from a thriving city god temple market about 140 years ago.

The main attraction is a 9-meter-tall golden tiger standing on a mountain in the central square of the malls, accompanied by a group of tiger cubs dressed as an astronaut, winter Olympic athletes or an aircraft carrier commander .

China’s major achievements in recent years are also featured in various lanterns, including Fuxing (Rejuvenation) high-speed train, 5G communication network, and super computer.

Another major attraction has been installed on the iconic Zigzag Bridge, with lanterns on the 24 solar terms and traditional Chinese culture. An installation with light, mist and shadow will be performed on the bridge every evening to create an immersive experience for visitors.

Lanterns lit for the Lunar New Year celebration at Yuyuan Garden

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

A group of lanterns near the Zigzag Bridge showcase the traditional culture of Jiangnan.

Many festive traditions from Jiangnan, or regions of the lower Yangtze River, are incorporated into the lanterns. The little tigers, for example, taste the spring rolls for lichun, where spring begins; watch peach blossoms on jingzhe, or the insects wake up; and make wine in chunfen, or vernal equinox.

The Yuyuan Garden area is the origin of Shanghai’s urban culture as well as Jiangnan culture. Key installations on the bridge aim to bring back memories of traditions, organizers said.

It is a tradition in the old town of Shanghai to cross the zigzag bridge for the Lunar New Year. It is said that the bridge can help get rid of bad luck, because ghosts and evil spirits can only walk straight.

Many popular Shanghai traditional skills are also displayed in shopping malls as part of the festive celebration.

The young chefs of the Shanghai Classic Hotel, known for its authentic Shanghainese-style cuisine, for example, will kousansi, or braised “three shreds”, a classic local dish requiring superior knife skills.

238-year-old Tonghanchun TCM pharmacy invites visitors to taste pear syrup herbal drink ligao read, inspired by the traditional candy with pear syrup.

Lanterns lit for the Lunar New Year celebration at Yuyuan Garden

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Visitors take photos on the iconic Zigzag Bridge on Tuesday.

Yuyuan Garden shopping malls have more than 30 intangible cultural heritages, including two national-level skills – Spring Festival Lantern Fair and Shanghai Classic Hotel Culinary Skills.

Other intangible heritages include Nanxiang Steamed Buns, Spicy Beans, City God Temple Fair, and Middle Lake Pavilion Tea Art.

Selected masters and artists will present traditional performances and teach basic skills in a workshop class until February 18.

Visitors are also invited to listen to a traditional concert of string and bagpipe music on the Beaufort Terrace, the stage for traditional Chinese operas and cuisine. Yueju and Kunqu traditional operas will also be performed during the festival.

More people are expected to stay in the city over the Lunar New Year due to the recent resurgence of locally transmitted COVID-19 cases.

Strict preventive measures are in place in shopping centres. Visitors are required to register their real name, show the health code and receive temperature checks at mall entrances as well as wear masks.

Epidemic period

Shanghai will remain in the epidemic period of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 during the Spring Festival, according to Dr. Zhang Wenhong, head of Shanghai’s COVID-19 treatment team and director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases.

It is vital for every citizen to maintain good health habits and personal protection during the festival, Zhang said, adding that such efforts will enable people to enjoy a normal life in Shanghai during this time.

“COVID-19 prevention not only depends on doctors, immune barrier and vaccines, but also on the health habits of every citizen,” Zhang said at the unveiling of an educational health awareness book. and disease prevention and control.

The book will be distributed to some 8 million families to build public health capacity, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Shanghai Health Commission said.

If you are going to:

New Year celebration period: until February 18

Admission: Free (except five days during the Lantern Festival)

Public transport: Metro Line 14, exit n°7

COVID-19 prevention: Sanitary code, masks and mandatory temperature checks

Opening hours: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. (Closed at 5:30 p.m. on January 31)

Lanterns lit for the Lunar New Year celebration at Yuyuan Garden

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Visitors are required to wear masks in Yuyuan Garden shopping malls.

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