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World’s most watched TV show set to amaze the audience with innovation

ISLAMABAD (PEN) : If you want to experience the authentic vibe of the Chinese New Year, the Spring Festival Gala on the New Year’s Eve is a must-watch. The annual event staged and broadcast by China Media Group (CMG) has been an indispensable segment of the celebrations for the Chinese people to ring in the new year since 1983 when it was first aired on television.

The gala in 2023 attracted 11 billion views via all media channels of CMG. As the most-watched TV show in the world, it has been evolving with the times in order to meet the ever-increasing expectations of its large audience.

The gala is a 4.5-hour TV show consisting of singing and dancing, opera, sketch comedy, cross-talk, martial arts and acrobatics. This year, it will kick off at 8 p.m. on February 9 (Beijing Time).

Recently, all eyes have been on the latest updates about this year’s gala as the big moment is less than a week away. CMG said that the gala this year will be broadcast in ultra-high definition and offer an immersive audio-visual experience via various platforms for those at home and abroad.

A scene from the fourth dress rehearsal for the 2024 Spring Festival Gala, Beijing, China February 4, 2024. /CMG

A scene from the fourth dress rehearsal for the 2024 Spring Festival Gala, Beijing, China February 4, 2024. /CMG

Through an ultra-high-definition production system combining extended reality (XR) and virtual production (VP), the gala will be presented via new shooting methods to merge real and virtual worlds. These techniques enable the production of new visualizations where physical and digital objects co-exist in real time, creating a fully immersive experience for the gala.

With over 100 LED screens and more than 1,400 stage lamps in position, the studio hall is ready to present a dazzling stage. An immersive stage interaction system will be adopted in the studio hall for the first time and the ultra-high-definition shooting system will capture the best moments of the show.

The innovative integration of traditional culture and modern art forms will be another highlight of the gala this year. The theme patterns of the stage are designed by Chang Shana, a 93-year-old Chinese artist renowned for her studies of the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang, northwest China’s Gansu Province.

She said these traditional Chinese patterns all carry beautiful meanings and will be incorporated in various designs for the stage. “These patterns will impart blessings to each member of our audience,” said Chang.

The blue flowery patterns are designed by Chang Shana, a 93-year-old Chinese artist renowned for her studies of the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang, northwest China's Gansu Province. /CMG

The blue flowery patterns are designed by Chang Shana, a 93-year-old Chinese artist renowned for her studies of the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang, northwest China’s Gansu Province. /CMG

The gala will be aired on the TV channels, radio stations and new media platforms of CMG, as well as on over 1,000 ultra-high definition outdoor screens in over 100 Chinese cities. Meanwhile, more than 3,000 public screens in 70 cities overseas will either live broadcast or promote the gala.

CGTN has partnered with over 1,000 media outlets across various countries and regions to air and report on the gala via its English, Spanish, French, Arabic and Russian channels, as well as its new media platforms in 68 languages.

A night view of the Grand Tang Mall, or the Grand Tang Dynasty Ever Bright City, in Xi'an, northwest China's Shaanxi Province, November 3, 2023. Xi'an, one of the four sub-venues of the gala, sets the stage in this street. /CFP

A night view of the Grand Tang Mall, or the Grand Tang Dynasty Ever Bright City, in Xi’an, northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, November 3, 2023. Xi’an, one of the four sub-venues of the gala, sets the stage in this street. /CFP

To celebrate the Year of the Dragon, CGTN has also launched the Loong Year Loong Dance challenge on both domestic and overseas social media platforms on January 8. The dance moves are inspired by the posture and movement of the dragon, the fifth of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac.

If you are interested in the dance challenge, you can participate by uploading your videos of the Loong dance on Douyin and TikTok. You can also watch other participants’ videos shared by CGTN on Facebook, X, and YouTube.

So far, celebrities and social media users from 67 countries and regions have participated in the event, including Princess Jenna Norodom of Cambodia. As of February 2, these dance videos had been viewed 152 million times worldwide.