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Year of the Tiger calendar makes early impression

Updated: 2021-09-13 07:42 ( China Daily )
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On each page of the new calendar, a tiger-themed cultural relic from the inventory of the Palace Museum is introduced. JIANG DONG/CHINA DAILY

As the 2022 Winter Olympics are scheduled to be held in China in February, a section of the calendar will introduce royal winter sports during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) through art pieces.

The Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, has been releasing annual calendars for Lunar New Year.

Between 1933 and 1937, the Palace Museum published its calendars, but the project was halted after Beijing was occupied during the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1931-45).

This almost forgotten history was revived by Zheng Xinmiao, director of the museum from 2002 to 2012 when he found some old calendars in the library there. The practice of printing calendars resumed in 2009, using a format identical to that used in 1937, and its popularity made it a routine for the museum. Since 2010, a new version of calendars has been released annually and over 4 million have been sold since 2009, according to Chen.

More than 4,300 cultural relics from the museum have been shown through annual calendars so far. Nevertheless, the 1.86 million cultural relics housed at the Palace Museum keep offering inspiration to officials to continue the project.

"The calendars are not only books introducing history and cultural heritage of the Palace Museum, "Wang Xudong, director of the museum, says. "They are also key platforms to promote traditional Chinese culture and witness Palace Museum researchers' lasting spirit of exploration."

In spite of the established reputation, creativity is still needed for new editions of the annual calendar. Other than new design of pages, augmented reality is now being used, enabling readers to have a view of the moving pictures of cultural relics by scanning QR codes.

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