Ringing out the Old Year with the sounds of drums and gongs, China is brightly lit in the light of festive lanterns. In Xi’an, the ancient capital of thirteen dynasties with a long history, tens of thousands of festive lanterns, along with the charms of the ancient city, add radiance and beauty to each other and represent the brilliant prosperity of the Tang Dynasty. On February 8, the 2018 Xi’an City Wall Lighting Ceremony of the OCT Zigong Lantern Show was held grandly at the Xi’an City Wall. Huang Xiaohua, Deputy Secretary of the People’s Government of Xi’an City; Tan Bao, the director of the NPC Standing Committee of Zigong City; Chen Zhangming, the vice mayor of the People’s Government of Zigong City; Mao Yixiang, the Director of the News Center of State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC); Li Tiejun, Deputy Director of Qujiang New District Administrative Committee; He Ming, Deputy General Manager of the OCT Western Investment Co., Ltd.; Qin Jun, the Deputy General Manager of the OCT Western Investment Co., Ltd.; Gao Zhixin, the President of ICBC Shaanxi Branch, were among the guests to attend and speak at the site. The ceremony attracted cultural and artistic masters including Jia Pingwa, a famous writer; Lang Lang, an international piano star and a UN Peace Ambassador; Xiao Yunru, a famous cultural scholar; Cui Zhenkuan, a famous painter; Liang Jinkui, a famous expert in urban planning; and Hou Hongqin, a winner of Plum Blossom Prize, a National Class-A Actress, and the Deputy Director of Xi’an Qinqiang Opera Theater.
The ceremony was hosted by well-known CCTV anchors Chen Weihong and Ouyang Xiadan. A magnificent light show brightened the “National Gate of Culture” — Yongning Gate of Xi’an, carrying forward the dazzling brilliance of the Xi’an City Wall for over 30 years, lighting up the Chinese New Year with festive lanterns. At the same time, festive lanterns were also being lit in 11 other cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Chongqing, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Wuhan, Kunming, Zigong, Yibin, and Guangyuan to ignite the passion of Chinese culture and light up the sky across China.
Lighting Ceremony Kicks Off to Showcase Chinese Confidence
Festive lanterns shed light on beautiful blossoms. The New Spring Lantern Festival held by the OCT Group in 12 cities is in no way conceding to the “Heavenly Palace of White Jade” as described in a poem by Li Po. On February 8, the Xi’an City Wall Lighting Ceremony held a New Year Celebration attracting the attention of the world and showcasing Chinese confidence in national culture with a majestic momentum, exciting performances, and the gathering of celebrities and other big names.
Usher in Chinese New Year with Special Cultural Performances
A cultural feast of joy and happiness in the flourishing age, the brilliant, dazzling and fashionable lantern show lit up an opening dance, Joy in the Flourishing Age, which blended the typical elements of the 12 cities. The performance highlighted the prominent characteristics of Chinese culture and instantly charged the atmosphere at the site. Later, the anchors Ouyang Xiadan and Chen Weihong of CCTV came to the stage officially dressed in traditional Chinese costumes, announcing the opening of the ceremony. The guests and audience at the site were expectantly awaiting the lighting of the lanterns in a heated and joyful atmosphere of the New Year.
Cultural Celebrities Conveyed Blessing of China
The leaders, guests, and cultural celebrities appeared as the anchors introduced them to the audience. Leaders of the government of Xi’an City, the government of Zigong City, the OCT Group made a wonderful speech and witnessed the lantern event, prayed for the prosperity and strength of the motherland and the peace and well-being of the people. Big names like Jia Pingwa, an influential and famous writer, Lang Lang, an international piano star and a UN peace ambassador voiced their support and interpreted the lantern culture of China from their unique artistic perspectives, shared their special feelings in the lantern show and their memories and stories of festive lanterns, contributed their strength to the inheritance and promotion of traditional Chinese culture, and offered their best wishes for the New Spring to the audience nationwide.
Black Technology 3D Naked-eye Show Ignited Passion in Traditional Culture
In the echoes of their best wishes, the passionate Fire Dance performance began. With “fire” as performance element, the performers made the site vivid and lifelike with innovative naked-eye 3D technology to express their best wishes for the future. In the extraordinary collision between fashionable technology and traditional culture, the powerful appeal instantly detonated the atmosphere at the site and pushed the lighting ceremony to a climax.
Dazzling Lighting Ceremony Represented the Brilliance of Tang Dynasty
Accompanied by the excitement of the Fire Dance, the anchors invited the leaders, guests, cultural celebrities, and citizen representatives to kick off the Xi’an City Wall Lighting Ceremony together. A suspension bridge fell slowly from Yongning Gate, from which powerful and magnificent armored warriors and maids holding lanterns came out one after another. Everyone joined forces to ignite the lighting device together. Instantly, the site was brightened by the lights. Passionate music echoed in the sky. Delicate paper-cuttings and Chinese style balloons symbolizing the 12 cities rose up slowly. Dazzling festive lanterns at the city wall were lit up in turn from South Gate Square, to the semi-circular enclosure, to the Barbican entrance, and finally to the gate tower.
Multi-screen Interaction of the 12 Cities Lit up Colorful Chinese New Year
At the site of the lighting ceremony, large screens on both sides of the stage showed the spectacular scenes of the lantern shows in the 12 cities, allowing for nationwide interaction. At Beijing Happy Valley, the light show presented a wonderful view of ice sculptures and festive lanterns; at Tianjin Happy Valley, a collision between the world-class theme of IP Snoopy and traditional culture IP was staged; at Shanghai Happy Valley, performances of Chinese and Western elements, folk customs, and foods were enjoyed by all participants; at Chengdu Happy Valley, hundreds of large New Year lantern sets created by hundreds of inheritors of intangible cultural heritages took the stage; at Wuhan Happy Valley, romantic and dreamlike lights adorned a bustling happy feast; at Kunming World Horticultural Expo Garden, modern lighting technology encountered traditional New Year customs, presenting a world of festive lanterns full of the New Year atmosphere…The lantern shows at these 12 cities conveyed blessings to the people across China in their special way, and accompanied all people to enjoy a brilliant, colorful and wonderful night.
Praying for Blessings in the Chinese New Year
With Chinese flavors from all over the world, the Chinese New Year could not be more wonderful. After the lighting ceremony, leaders, guests, cultural celebrities, and citizens ascended the wall to enjoy the lanterns and pray for blessings. The audience was absorbed in the world of festive lanterns, enjoying the unique charm of Chinese New Year.
On the City Wall, the festive lanterns were like twinkling stars; the colorful and diversified festive lanterns created a fancy wonderland of the New Spring. The “Fish to Dragon” appeared dynamic, the “Birds’ Song and Flowers’ Scent” were pleasing to the ear and eye, the “Dream and Flying” created a dreamland with a pair of huge wings and nebula lines…A huge “dog-like lantern” was extremely eye-catching. Standing 18 meters high, even higher than the city walls, it broke the size record of a Zodiac dog-like festive lantern made of new materials at home. The dog held its head high to convey the auspicious fortune of Chinese New Year to the world.
Take pleasure in the joyous lanterns. In the 2018 Xi’an City Wall Lantern Show, the bright and colorful festive lanterns with different designs attract the eyes of the audience. The foods from different places, the cute pet IP, and the wonderful interactive activities ignite the atmosphere of the New Spring. The online sensation Niu Hong Hong debuts in the form of a Chinese lantern with the Little Warrior; mascots of the OCT Happy Valley, Huan Huan and Le Le, also show up. Popular snacks from different places and catering brands, like KFC, are also introduced to tempt and satisfy your taste buds. A multitude of mysterious experiences are awaiting you. In addition, the lantern show also introduces more technological innovations. AR technology is applied throughout the event so you can watch the highlights of the lantern show on your smartphone and interact with the Little Warrior. It’s entertaining to watch the lanterns, and the Spring Festival atmosphere is strengthened.
Since 1984, the Xi’an City Wall New Spring Lantern Show has been held 30 times, with an annual attendance of more than 500,000 people. Carrying forward and promoting traditional Chinese culture in the form of a traditional lantern show and shouldering the weighty responsibility of guarding the historical relics and civilization, it has become an important festival in China, with a special sentiment and far-reaching significance in the hearts of Xi’an people. This year, the Lantern Show organizers joins hands with the organizers of the OCT Zigong Lantern Show to create an unprecedented world-class feast of festive lanterns for the ancient capital Xi’an. Together with the New Spring lantern shows in the other 11 cities, a feast of joy for the New Year is served to all people across China. An event you cannot afford to miss.