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New talk show on Forbidden City New Year celebrations hits the mark

(Global Times)    08:16, January 02, 2020

  Screenshot of talk show New Year in the Forbidden City Photos: Weibo

What type of presents did people in the Forbidden City give out during the Spring Festival? What was the Spring Festival dinner like at the home of emperors?

As the year 2020 heralds the 600th anniversary of the former imperial compound, a new talk show went to air taking a closer look at how the Spring Festival used to be celebrated in the Forbidden City.

Titled New Year in the Forbidden City, the show is co-produced by the Palace Museum and Tencent Video, an online video streaming website. It will air on Tencent Video each Wednesday until January 29.

During the five episodes, each lasting about 30 minutes, experts will join celebrities to walk audiences through the emperor's New Year reception, family gatherings, royal rituals, imperial gifts and entertainment activities during the most significant festival in Chinese culture.

With big names such as Silver Bear winning actress Yong Mei and Peking opera singer-actress Wang Peiyu joining, the much anticipated show has stirred heated online discussion. It has generated more than 8.33 million views and over 7,900 posts on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo.

Aired on Wednesday, the first episode was co-hosted by Dou Wentao, a professional host, and Wang Gang, a Chinese actor and host who is best known for his television role as Heshen, a corrupt Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) official who was favored by the Qianlong Emperor.

The Spring Festival is not only a time for family reunions, but also for gatherings with friends. And as for the emperors, it could also mean meeting with confidential officials.

Accompanied by experts, Dou and Wang were given an informative tour at the Chonghua Palace where the Qianlong Emperor held tea parties in the Forbidden City with trusted officials and his household.

"When we visit the three grand palaces (Taihe, Zhonghe and Baohe), we're always impressed by their magnificence. Yet here makes me think how warm and happy this place must have been when the Qianlong Emperor spent the Spring Festival here," said Dou.

Since the Chonghua Palace has never been opened to the public, many netizens were intrigued.

"It's a new way to look at the Forbidden City. Really interesting," commented one netizen.

By 5:30pm on Wednesday, views of the first episode had reached over 7.35 million.

While some viewers said they had already watched the episode twice, others said they were eager to see the upcoming episodes.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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