A promotional event for the 2024 China Media Group (CMG) Spring Festival TV Gala, an annual celebratory show, was staged on Sunday at the Nelson Mandela Square in Johannesburg, the largest city of South Africa.
The gala is a four-and-half-hour-long comprehensive TV art show consisting of singing and dancing, opera, sketch comedy, crosstalk, martial arts and acrobatics. It will be broadcast live at 20:00 on Friday, the eve of the Chinese New Year, or the Spring Festival.
The TV show, also known as "chunwan", has taken place every year since 1983, and for many Chinese people, it is an indispensable part of the celebrations to ring in the Chinese New Year with family members gathering around their TV sets with snacks, ready to catch every moment of the spectacular performances.
A promotional video for the gala was screened on the giant screen erected at the Nelson Mandela Square, bringing joy and festive atmosphere to the 300,000-plus overseas Chinese living in South Africa as well as foreigners interested in Chinese culture.
China's Consul General in Johannesburg Pan Qingjiang said at the event that this year marks the first year after China-South Africa relations entered the "golden era" and he hopes the Spring Festival Gala will bring people of the two countries closer.
"This year is the first year after China-South Africa relations entered the 'golden era'. The Spring Festival Gala has become a household namecard in China, and I hope that the TV program can be shown in more foreign countries, spreading joy to global audience and serving as a bridge for promoting cultural and people-to-people exchanges between China and other countries," said Pan.
Alex Lewackett, a university student in South Africa, said that he was so attracted by the cool things shown in the TV gala and feels very excited to attend the promotional event. He believes that the gala will surely arouse many local people's interest.
"Just seeing all of these live, just seeing all of these festival activities, it just makes me very excited to want to know a lot more about what's going on in the culture in China. And just seeing the festival just makes me excited to even want to attend it. So I just can't wait to see it on the ninth [of February]. And I just hope all the South Africans who are watching it can just feel somewhat interested into looking at what the African culture has in terms of China and such like that, and just to see how they can also get involved in many programs," said Lewackett.
Sifiso Mnisi, a senior lecturer from the Department of Communication and Media at the University of Johannesburg, extended best wishes to the Chinese people and showed his anticipation for the TV gala.
"This is a very exciting time for the Chinese people with the celebrations of the [Chinese] New Year coming up, and I would like to wish them all the best in the new year. I want to wish them more prosperity and more success in whatever they do. The CMG gala, which is taking place on the ninth of February, is a very, very exciting event that I'm certainly looking forward to," said Mnisi.
The promotional event also features Chinese calligraphy and other activities. A group of young people from both countries dressed in Chinese traditional clothing danced together at the Nelson Mandela Square, pushing the jubilant atmosphere to a climax.
The Chinese New Year is the most important festival for Chinese and an important occasion for family reunions, which will fall on Saturday this year.