Festival gala upgraded to "national project" status

Updated: 2014-01-28 15:37


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BEIJING - China Central Television (CCTV)'s Spring Festival gala has been upgraded to "national project" level, its chief executive director Lyu Yitao has told China Newsweek.

The report did not give details about the upgrade. "This is the first time that I have heard about the upgrade. All parties involved in the preparation work want to do better this time," said Lyu.

Lyu is quoted as saying that the biggest highlight this year is the gala's director, commercial filmmaker Feng Xiaogang.

Since it was first held on New Year's Eve in 1983, watching the annual gala has become one of the most important activities for Chinese families, as they sit together enjoying the entertainment before new year.

However, the gala has gradually lost its appeal, particularly to the young as its contents have become obsolete and less relevant to the present day, according to a poll by China Youth Daily on Tuesday.

More than half, 55.4 percent, of the 102,791 people polled think the gala's contents are outdated.

Xiao Fang, a cultural scholar from Beijing Normal University, said young people are interested in new forms of recreation, such as smartphones and tablets, and that they are fatigued by the same old programs.

The Beijing 2008 Olympic opening ceremony was a "national project" event.