Enjoying a big dinner with family members and watching the China Central Television broadcast of the annual Spring Festival Gala have become a tradition for many people to begin their holiday celebrations.
This year's live broadcast starts at 8 pm on Saturday, with Sunday marking the start of the Year of the Rabbit.
Highlights of the upcoming gala were detailed at a news conference in Beijing on Monday, with brief videos shown on the stage designs and mascot Tu Yuanyuan, a lively rabbit with big, bright eyes. The fourth rehearsal for the four-and-a-half-hour event was held on Monday.
Singing, dancing, comedy sketches, operas, martial arts and acrobatics will be performed during the show, with wishes expressed for the country to be prosperous and peaceful this year, according to Xu Wenguang, head of China Media Group's cultural and artistic program center.
Flowers are the main theme of the stage decoration, which takes its inspiration from mantingfang, a title in classical Chinese poetry meaning courtyard full of fragrance.
The ceiling of the studio is decorated with a flower pattern taken from pottery found at the Miaodigou archaeological site in Sanmenxia, Henan province. The site, which is about 5,000 years old, reflects the peak of ancient Yangshao culture.
The stage design combines ancient aesthetics and modern design concepts, and is meant to reflect the vitality of the Chinese people and create an auspicious and festive atmosphere, Xu said.
Saturday's broadcast will mark the 41st gala, with some art forms being showcased for the first time to enrich the event. Nanyin, an ancient music originating in the southern regions of Fujian province, will be featured for the first time.
An entertainer from Taiwan and a band from the Chinese mainland will give the nanyin performance, which will showcase the charm of China's intangible cultural heritage, Xu said.
The Malanhua Children's Choir from mountainous Fuping county, Hebei province, will also make its first appearance at the gala. The choir, from an area lifted out of poverty several years ago, became well-known after performing at the opening ceremony of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
They will join with the Guoguo Children's Choir from Zhongba village, in a once impoverished area deep in the Daliang Mountains, Sichuan province, to give the opening performance, Xu said.
New technologies, such as augmented, virtual and extended reality, will be used widely during the gala for visual and audio effects and to give the audience an immersive experience. People can also watch the gala on big screens in squares in about 500 cities across the country.
"The Spring Festival Gala is not only a cultural feast, but also a banquet of media technology," said Jiang Wenbo, a member of the editors' committee of China Media Group.