The capital of four dynasties, Beijing is renowned for its opulent gardens, palaces and temples. The festival will last four weeks, with each week focusing on a different theme, such as health, imperial cuisine and imperial gardens.
The festival gathers "all the art forms of classical Chinese gardens" and reflects "the highest achievements in gardens," said Sun Jiguang, director of Haidian District Tourist Administration, which is in charge of the festival.
The opening day of the festival, May 19, fell on China Tourism Day, which was established by the State Council earlier this year. Xu Xiake, a Ming Dynasty geographer and travel writer, made his first travel diary entry on that day.