State TV’s mid-autumn gala pays tribute to aerospace heroes and more
Published: Sep 22, 2021 06:33 PM
A performance at the Mid-Autumn Festival Gala
Photo: Courtesy of Bing Bing

A performance at the Mid-Autumn Festival Gala Photo: Courtesy of Bing Bing

A performance at the Mid-Autumn Festival Gala
Photo: Courtesy of Bing Bing

A performance at the Mid-Autumn Festival Gala Photo: Courtesy of Bing Bing

The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the most important festivals for Chinese around the world. After all, the holiday is about gathering together with family and friends at a time when the moon is at its brightest and roundest, and in China "round" symbolizes the idea of "reunion."  

In China, various galas, from the state TV China Media Group (CMG) to provincial-level TV stations, were held on Tuesday night to mark this special occasion for the festival. 

For the first time in history, the CMG gala was aired overseas for international audiences with English subtitles and background information on channels such as Sinovison in the US, Xinflix Media in Canada, Switch TV in Kenya, CATV in the United Arab Emirates and Enjoy TV in Malaysia as well as social media platforms like Facebook. 

In order to pay tribute to those who have contributed to China's aerospace industry, the audiovisual feast was held in Xichang, capital of the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture in Southwest China's Sichuan Province, as the city is also home to the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. 

With the success of the Shenzhou-12 mission, China's space industry has opened a new chapter. 

During the gala, the three Chinese astronauts, or taikonauts, that took part in the mission, Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo, sent their best wishes with photos of the moon they took while in orbit to the audiences.

According to the gala director Dong Jinming, elements ranging from China's taikonauts and Tokyo Olympic medalists to the country's vast beautiful landscapes were incorporated into the gala to mark the significant events of 2021, such as the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China and the achievement of a moderately prosperous society in all respects. 

As Liangshan is home to the majority of China's Yi ethnic group, the gala showed off the beautiful natural scenery of the region and the culture of the Yi people, whose folk songs have been passed down through generations, through performances combing pop music and traditional Chinese culture.

A "China-chic-style" music band, Zide Guqin Studio - which has become a hit on Chinese social media for playing traditional Chinese musical instruments in a new way - performed the classic song "Wishing We Last Forever" with singers Liu Shishi and Jing Boran. Celebrated Peking Opera performer Wang Peiyu and singer Zheng Qiyuan also sang "Great Beauty" as a duet as part of the celebration.

Additionally, the gala incorporated high technology to create an immersive experience for those watching from home. 

Dong noted that some of the songs performed at the gala had been chosen through netizen voting. 

Due to these rich elements and meaningful arrangements, the gala show was well-received not only in China but also in other countries. 

The show has earned over 900 million views online and a number of relevant hot topics and keyword searches on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo. 

On the platform YouTube, the gala earned millions of views and thousands of positive reviews. 

Many viewers said they were stunned by the splendid visuals and outstanding performances at the gala as well as the natural scenery of Xichang. 

Some also hailed the English subtitles for providing necessary background information to viewers who may be unfamiliar with the details of the Chinese culture.