Large-scale exhibition at Museum of History to showcase splendour of imperial Qing birthday celebrations (with photos)

     The Qing court attached great importance to birthday celebrations, and the imperial celebration events were regarded as state ceremonies. The Hong Kong Museum of History will hold a large-scale exhibition entitled "Longevity and Virtues: Birthday Celebrations of the Qing Emperors and Empress Dowagers" starting tomorrow (July 2), featuring a variety of artefacts to showcase the splendour of these grand birthday celebrations.

     The exhibition will feature a total of 210 precious artefacts, paintings, calligraphies and musical instruments associated with the grand birthday celebrations of Emperor Kangxi, Empress Dowager Chongqing (mother of Emperor Qianlong), Emperor Qianlong, Emperor Jiaqing and Empress Dowager Cixi. They have been selected from the collection of the Palace Museum to illustrate the ritual system related to the grand birthday celebrations of the Qing court, as well as the rich culture of the ancient Chinese birthday celebrations.

     Highlight exhibits include a painting scroll entitled "Birthday Celebration of Empress Dowager Chongqing" with a total length of about 28 metres, which depicts the grand celebration held by Emperor Qianlong for the 60th birthday of his mother Empress Dowager Chongqing; a plaque with the characters for "Boundless Longevity", which was written by Emperor Kangxi and embroidered onto the plaque as a birthday present; and the "Dhāraṇī Sūtra" copied in regular script, a birthday gift presented by Emperor Qianlong as a prince in celebration of the 60th birthday of Emperor Yongzheng. Other exhibits include the "Dark Green Jade Seal with Entwined Dragon Knob and Mark Commemorating Age Seventy"; the "Lined Dark Blue Brocade Satin Surcoat Embroidered with Four Gold Dragon Roundels with Longevity Motifs"; the "Zitan Wood Carved Jade Paradise of the Penglai Isle", and the "Ivory Lidded Bowl Carved with Peach and Bat Motifs".

     To tie in with the exhibition, the Hong Kong Museum of History will also organise a variety of programmes including seminars, lectures, workshops, guided tours and outreach activities, enabling visitors to learn more about the rituals and ceremonies of the Qing emperors' birthday celebrations.

     An opening ceremony for the exhibition was held today (July 1). Officiating guests included the Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam; the Minister of Culture, Mr Luo Shugang; the Director of the Palace Museum, Dr Shan Jixiang; the Secretary General of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Mr Xu Dong; the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Lau Kong-wah; the Director General of the Office of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Affairs of the Ministry of Culture, Mr Xie Jinying; the Deputy Chairman of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Mr Anthony Chow; the Chairman of the Museum Advisory Committee, Mr Stanley Wong; the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Ms Michelle Li; and the Director of Hong Kong Museum of History, Ms Belinda Wong.

     The exhibition is one of the events celebrating the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR and will run until October 9. It is jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Palace Museum, and jointly organised by the Hong Kong Museum of History and the Palace Museum. Solely sponsored by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, it is one of the exhibitions in the Hong Kong Jockey Club Series.

     The Hong Kong Museum of History is located at 100 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui. For details of the exhibition, please visit the website at, or call 2724 9042 for enquiries.

Ends/Saturday, July 1, 2017
Issued at HKT 17:07