China's cultural, tourist market rebounds during Spring Festival holiday
  ·  2023-01-30  ·   Source: Xinhua News Agency
People tour Jiuzhou ancient town in Huangping County, southwest China's Guizhou Province, on January 26 (XINHUA) 

If there is one phrase to describe the past Spring Festival holiday, it is "Ren Shan Ren Hai," a Chinese idiom meaning there are many people out there. 

The first Spring Festival holiday since China optimized its COVID-19 response policies saw the hustle and bustle return to tourist attractions and cultural venues, a strong signal that the country's economy will see a robust recovery this year.

Revived traditional culture 

Traditional festive activities, hardly seen in many places over the past three years due to the epidemic, attracted millions of tourists seeking the nostalgic buzzing atmosphere of the Spring Festival.

According to official data, over 470 million visitors participated in around 110,000 public cultural events, including lantern shows and traditional folk opera performances nationwide.

In the southwestern municipality of Chongqing, Li Jie, manager of a dragon dance performance company, has been busy dealing with performance orders. Usually performed at festive celebrations, the dragon dance involves a team of dancers using poles to rhythmically move a giant dragon puppet.

"Our telephone line has been overloaded for performance orders," Li said. "We have sent over 200 performers to Beijing and other cities to generate festive vibes for the audiences."

Data from the Beijing Municipal Cultural Heritage Bureau showed that museums in Beijing recorded around 1 million tourist visits during the holiday, with the Palace Museum and the National Museum of China the top choices.

"The younger generation is celebrating the Spring Festival in more ways. The return of traditional festival activities embodies the people's fondness for traditional festival culture and their confidence in the culture," said Li Xiangzhen, associate professor of social sciences at Wuhan University.


A movie is shown at China National Film Museum in Beijing, capital of China, on January 25 (XINHUA)  

Audiences back to cinemas 

On January 27, the last day of the week-long Spring Festival holiday, cinema manager He Feiyu was surprised by the moviegoer crowds despite the frigid temperature of minus 10 degrees Celsius in Hohhot, capital city of north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

"Usually, people tend to go to cinemas on the first and second day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, but the attendance figures remained high during this year's holiday. It seems that the public enthusiasm for movies has been ignited," He said.

China's movie box office revenue reached nearly 6.76 billion yuan during the Spring Festival holiday this year, making for the second-highest gross figures for this holiday to date, said the China Film Administration on January 28.

Covering diverse genres, this year's holiday films were professionally made and fully met the particular demands of the audience.

Rao Shuguang, president of the China Film Critics Association, said that film consumption is expected to continue growing after the holiday, as people who were busy traveling during the Spring Festival holiday get an opportunity to watch films.

"People's enthusiasm for cinema-going may last for several weeks," Rao predicted.

"We are working overtime to serve the moviegoers," said Liang Zhiqiang, a manager of a cinema in Chaoyang District in Beijing, pointing to a popcorn machine which rarely has one minute to rest.

"Our confidence is boosted, and the future will be better," Liang added.

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