A rabbit lantern on the Zigzag Bridge to mark the Year of the Rabbit.
Shanghai's annual New Year's celebration at the landmark Yuyuan Garden Malls will be held earlier this year, from late December, highlighting traditional Chinese cultures and oriental aesthetics.
Hundreds of traditional lanterns, a listed national cultural heritage, will come alive every evening between December 26 and February 15, featuring magic creatures from the ancient book of mythical legends "Shan Hai Jing," or "The Classic of Mountains and Seas".
"With the lanterns and high-tech installations, the Yuyuan malls will become a wonderland with mythical animals and legendary greenery to celebrate the year 2023 and the Year of the Rabbit," said Chen Jia, assistant president and chief cultural officer of Yuyuan Inc.
The major draw is a replica of the giant Aoshan, or Turtle Mountain, lantern from the Song Dynasty (960-1279). The traditional lantern comprises hundreds of smaller lanterns, and was once a key attraction during the traditional Lantern Festival celebration in Shanghai's old town.
A group of fancy carp lanterns jointly created by Yuyuan and Shanghai Museum will light up Yuyuan Old Street. Other lanterns will introduce the 24 solar terms and traditional Chinese culture, as well as carton figures from popular mobile games and animations to draw young customers.
Hundreds of traditional lanterns, a listed national cultural heritage, will come alive every evening.
Many of Shanghai's popular traditional skills are also being exhibited as part of the festive celebration.
Yuyuan boasts more than 30 UN-designated categories of intangible cultural heritage, including two national-level skills – the Spring Festival Lantern Fair and cooking skills of the Shanghai Classic Hotel.
Visitors are also invited to use their mobile phones to interact with some lanterns embedded with augmented reality tech, or guess riddles, send wishes and release flying lanterns.
Importantly, strict prevention measures are being implemented. Visitors are required to scan the venue code, show 72-hour negative PCR reports and receive temperature checks at the entrances to the malls as well as wear masks.
Tickets, sold at 50 or 80 yuan (US$11.24) for adults and 30 or 50 yuan for children, are required around New Year's Day, Spring Festival and Lantern Festival. Admission is free for other days.
A rabbit lantern at the Yuyuan malls to mark the Year of the Rabbit.
If you go:
The lantern fair: December 26, 2022 – February 15, 2023
Admission: Free (except December 31- January 2; January 22-28; February 1-5)
Ticket price: 50 yuan for adults and 30 yuan for children (80 yuan for adults and 50 yuan for children on February 5, the Lantern Festival)
Public transport: Metro Line 14, No. 7 exit
COVID-19 prevention: 72-hour negative PCR report, venue code, masks and temperature checks required
Traditional lanterns light up the Yuyuan Garden Malls for the New Year celebration.
Editor: Li Qian