BEIJING, Feb. 3 (Xinhuanet) -- Every year China Central Television the channel you're watching brings together well-known performers in music, dance, comedy, and drama to celebrate lunar new year in the Spring Festival Gala.
It began in 1983 and has since been the most watched variety show in China for 28 years. Mike Patterson has the story.
The theme of Wednesday's Spring Festival Gala on CCTV is Family Reunion, a common desire among Chinese at this time of the year.
The show opened with a song and dance performance featuring families gathering to celebrate the new year. Titled Going Home For Spring festival, it created a joyous and festive atmosphere on stage.
Watching CCTV's Spring Festival Gala is now a Chinese Lunar New Year's eve tradition. It is seen by millions of Chinese at home and abroad, it even creates new Superstars each year.
The varied tastes of the audience and China's vast cultural mix are reflected in the myriad of entertainment genres featured in the program.
A Chinese comedy genre called Cross Talk, along with short sketches regularly earn the most laughs each year.
And then there are the ever popular acrobats and jugglers, performing deft maneuvers as if by magic.
Drawn from among China's more than 50 ethnic groups, performers costumes are colorful and often dazzling.
While the Spring Festival Gala is far from the only option to celebrate the dawning of a new year, it continues to be the choice for most Chinese people.