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Live broadcasts will ease New Year nostalgia

By WANG KAIHAO | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2021-01-16 07:25
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The livestreaming host group named the "Seven Fairies of the Dong Ethnic Group" promote tea leaves with a special guest in Gaibao village of Liping county, Southwest China's Guizhou province. [Photo by Na Zhikui/For China Daily]

A famous line by Tang Dynasty (618-907) poet Wang Wei reads:"On the happy festivals, more than ever we think of our relatives far away."

However, due to the country's rigid containment of COVID-19, which encourages the public to spend the upcoming Spring Festival where they live now, many Chinese people probably have to cancel their trips and spend this most important Chinese festival away from their hometowns.

A program launched by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism may partially ease people's nostalgia.

As the ministry briefed media in Beijing on Friday, a nationwide project will refer to streaming media and short video-sharing platforms during the festival and broadcast traditional Spring Festival celebrations around China live.

The weekslong livestreaming project will focus on intangible cultural heritage related to the Spring Festival, including folk arts, New Year parades and traditional fairs, among many other varieties, according to Zhong Jianbo, deputy director of the department in charge of intangible cultural heritage under the ministry.

"This will be a key measure to adapt to the current containment of the virus," Zhong said."Through livestreaming of the celebrations, we wish people who can't get together with families could feel the flavor of New Year and have a taste of home as well.

"Dispelling the cloudy mood brought by the pandemic, people can thus get comforted," he said."It will be a warm color in our battle against the virus."

The livestreaming will be presented through platforms such as Douyin, Kuaishou, Weibo and Kugou, and the best of them will also be broadcast on the official website of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Zhong said.

The Spring Festival will fall on Feb 11 this year, according to the Chinese lunar calendar. Nevertheless, laba (the 8th day of the 12th month in the lunar calendar) on Wednesday, is often considered the start of the Chinese New Year season, which is to last until the Lantern Festival (the 15th day of the first month in the lunar calendar). Live broadcasts will be conducted throughout the process.

The Spring Festival was included in China's first national list of intangible cultural heritages in 2006, and more than 200 national-level intangible cultural heritage entries that are relevant to that festival have been registered.

Zhong emphasized that containment of the virus is a priority in organizing the livestreaming. More than 300 national-and provincial-level intangible cultural heritages were chosen as candidates for the project, but only about 160 of them have been kept in the plan after an evaluation of risk to public health.

No such live broadcast will be organized in regions with medium or high risk of infection, and the final broadcast entries will continue to be adjusted according to the changing situation in the battle against COVID-19.

"In recent years, many urban residents often complain that the flavor of New Year is getting 'lighter'," due to changing lifestyles, Zhong said."This special New Year season offers a chance for us to better understand our Spring Festival. Its culture is much richer than we thought."

He also added that the project can create a foundation for future regular promotion of intangible cultural heritage through new media forms.

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