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Happy Chinese New Year

7 February 2008

Since 1983, Chinese New Year's Eve Special on TV (春节联欢晚会) has gradually transformed from a "side dish" to the "main course" of New Year's Eve Dinner (年夜饭). Together with the reunion dinner, the firecrackers in the midnight, the TV Special has become one of the three highlights of the Eve. When you consider Chinese New Year's Eve is the highlight of the year, picture the importance of this telly program in the life of millions and millions of Chinese. In recent decades, families having a series of special meals on Chinese New Year's Eve (春节连环晚饭) while watching the TV Special (春节联欢晚会), awaiting the firecrackers to announce the arrival of new lunar year, has grown into a new tradition in Chinese life, which connects one family to the whole nation, even though in a rather passive way.

Flying Fairies - A scene of the New Year's Eve Special

In recently few years, following the rapid increase in the Internet population in China, a new cultural phenomenon has quietly developed from this new tradition: synchronized online commentaries on the TV Special contributed by Netizens from all walks of life. One of the most influential forums of such is on "" hosted by a mysterious ID called "Witness" (見證) who for three years, behaving like a comet, emerged just shortly before the commence of the Special, and disappeared soon after that, while his presentations and remarks are one of those that are most amusing. The synchronized online commentary may one day become the fourth highlights of Chinese New Year's Eve, which connects individual to the whole world, and in a very proactive way.

(Photo: CCTV1)

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