|2013 Festival Gala: A visual feast|
BEIJING, Feb. 11 (Xinhuanet) -- Hundreds of millions of people spent Lunar New Year's Eve enjoying a tele-visual feast, on the final day of the year of the Dragon -- as CCTV's annual Spring Festival Gala dominated living rooms up and down the country. And this year, those watching at home were treated to an even more impressive spectacle than the lucky ticket holders inside studio 1 in Beijing.
As ever, the impressively decorated Gala stage was at the center of the show.
But this year, viewers sitting at home were able to enjoy some "virtual" treats - not seen by the studio audience. From the Moon Palace in Chinese fairytales to more recent manned space missions virtual images lit up the small screen, to enhance the New Year experience.
More traditional, perhaps, but equally entertaining: - some of the biggest names in pop music once again trod the boards, showing off some exceptional creativity.
Cross-genre collaborations were a big feature of the night. Famed magician Liu Qian once again amazed viewers with his unique talents but this time, he invited famous pianist Li Yundi to be his stage partner.
Lang Lang trod a more classical line performing a variation of "the Voice of Spring" with ballerina Hou Honglan.
But the biggest duet of the night was the folk song "the Jasmine". The song's original singer, Song Zuying, was joined by "Titanic" superstar Celine Dion, who impressed by singing in Chinese. She later performed her best-known hit, "My heart will go on".
The Spring Festival Gala has come under scrutiny in recent years, amid accusations that it lacks creativity. But if the TV viewer ratings are anything to go by, this is one New Year's Eve tradition that most Chinese people aren't switching off just yet.