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China sums up results of the Spring Festival Gala Concert

The broadcast gained more than 11 billion views

China Media Group (CMG) held a grand gala concert for the Spring Festival. The gala event has been held on Chinese television for 41 years and has attracted record numbers of viewers across the globe.

This tradition goes back to 1983. The children's choir opens the gala concert. The main theme of this year's concert was "A prosperous China in a new era and an ever-changing life for the better". The programme included songs, selections from traditional Chinese operas, stories of two legendary heroines from Chinese folklore whose roles were performed by many Chinese actresses, as well as dance, humorous skits, circus acts and a martial arts demonstration. Advanced technology was used in the preparations.

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"This year we focused on culture and technology. We used virtual and augmented reality technology and drones," said Zou Wei, deputy chief director of New Year's Gala 2023.

According to data as of 22 January, in total, the concert has garnered more than 11 billion views in China and abroad. The number of internet users who watched the concert via new media platforms increased by more than 60 per cent.

For foreign audiences, the concert was broadcast by China Media Group channels in English, Russian, Spanish, French and Arabic. The show was also partly or fully transmitted in 68 languages by mass media from more than 170 countries around the world. In many of them, the show was transmitted on outdoor screens as well as in concert halls.

The creators of the concert paid attention to all aspects of Chinese culture. For example, during the martial arts demonstration, Shaolin monks took to the stage. The creators of the number brought to life an ancient mural from the Qing dynasty, preserved in one of the halls of a Shaolin monastery.

"We invented a story about a modern man who got inside this ancient mural and saw how the Shaolin monks trained in the old days, and later went back to show what he learned from them," explained Hao Jing, the production director.

The concert also introduced audiences to traditional Chinese music, including the nanyin instrument, which has more than a thousand years of history and has been inscribed on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

"Actually, preparing for such concerts starts with self-reflection. You have to reflect on who you are, who we are, our national culture and history. We have delved into five thousand years of Chinese history, selected from it the most characteristic, the most striking moments and creatively reinterpreted them. It's a very rewarding process through which we ourselves have gained a deeper understanding of Chinese culture and history," said Yu Lei, chief director of the New Year Gala 2023.

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Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, is the most important holiday in China. It marks the beginning of the year and is considered by most Chinese to be the most auspicious time of the year. It is important to note that the Chinese New Year has nothing to do with the traditional calendar year for Russians. 31 December and 1 January are not very important dates for the inhabitants of the Celestial Empire. All efforts go into the preparation and celebration of the Lunar New Year, the exact date of which varies each time.

This year, masters of jianzhi, the art of paper cutting, have prepared their works in celebration of the Lunar New Year. Guangdong paper carving was inscribed on China's Intangible Cultural Heritage List in 2006.

Lunar New Year is a milestone date for 1/4 of the world's population. In 2021, it will count around 7.7 billion people and over two billion will celebrate the holiday.

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In China, the Spring Festival is celebrated together by representatives of all 56 nationalities in the country. The word for "state" in Chinese is made up of the hieroglyphs for "country" and "family". All nationalities with their distinctive traditions are considered important members of one big family. 

Russia's biggest celebration of the Lunar New Year took place in Moscow: guests of the Chinese pavilion at the All-Russian Exhibition Centre were greeted with the sounds of drums, dancing of a red lion and a golden dragon. There was a show program on the street and an excursion inside the pavilion, where everyone could meet with the culture, everyday life and fashion of the first empire in the history of China and even try on traditional Chinese clothes, as reported by CGTN, a partner of TV BRICS.

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