Throughout the recent dual celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day, China witnessed a blossoming museum craze, highlighting the nation’s rich and expansive history and culture. The period, often referred to as Golden Week, stretching from September 29 to October 6, saw an impressive influx of visitors to numerous museums across the country. This surge not only showcases an increased public interest in the historical and cultural exhibitions but also reflects a burgeoning enthusiasm for exploring and engaging with the nation’s past.
Several museums, including the prominent Jiangxi Provincial Museum in East China and the National Museum of China in Beijing, experienced full bookings, an indication of the overwhelming public interest in such cultural experiences. This response prompted a comprehensive embrace of innovative approaches by various museums to cater to and captivate this booming visitor interest.
Embracing a blend of education and entertainment, these museums rolled out a series of special exhibitions, non-heritage experiences, and even nocturnal tours, aiming to immerse visitors in a diverse and enriching cultural exploration. For instance, the Hangzhou Museum introduced an interactive exhibition titled “Pursuing and Visioning the Past,” focusing on the Bronze Age, where visitors could not only learn about bronze and its historical uses but also engage in its creation.
Similarly, the National Archaeological Site Park of Han Dynasty Haihun Marquis in Jiangxi Province offered visitors a real and vibrant experience of the Han Dynasty through activities that spanned traditional clothing, music, dances, and culinary experiences. Here, participants were invited to don traditional Han garments, revel in the melodies and performances of Han music and dances, and savor the unique flavors of Han hot pot, among other engaging activities.
The Jiangxi Provincial Museum took a novel approach, launching “Wonderful Night” activities from September 29 to October 2, featuring opening night exhibitions that allowed visitors to explore the wonders of history under a starlit sky. Similarly, the Jiangxi Pingxiang Confucius Temple Museum unveiled a series of cultural, artistic, and non-heritage performances, staying open throughout the National Day holiday, marking its first-ever continuous operation during this period.
In the northwest, Urumqi Museum, located in the capital of China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, also launched its version of the “Wonderful Night.” Here, visitors were not only treated to traditional Chinese costumes but also invited to immerse themselves in an atmospheric evening that brought these historical artifacts to life.
These efforts not only enriched the visitors’ experiences but also showcased the museums’ capacities to blend educational endeavors with enthralling entertainment. The widespread public engagement, as reflected in the fully booked reservations and the active participation in numerous activities, underscores a collective eagerness to explore, understand, and celebrate the nation’s rich tapestry of history and culture.
As China navigated through the eight-day festivity, the embrace of its historical and cultural lineage highlighted a deeper, collective acknowledgment and appreciation of its past. This surging museum craze, thus, not only epitomizes a nationalistic spirit but also underlines the societal importance placed on understanding and cherishing the cultural and historical narratives that have shaped the nation.