The new China Central Television (CCTV) building is pictured in Beijing, October 28, 2011.
The new China Central Television (CCTV) building is pictured in Beijing, October 28, 2011.Reuters

The final countdown for the grand CCTV Spring Festival Gala 2015 has begun and there is an air of excitement everywhere. The gala, which will be broadcast live from 8pm on 18 February, has been an important part of the Chinese New Year celebration.

The event, commonly abbreviated in Chinese as Chunwan has a yearly viewership of an estimated 700 million viewers. Having the largest audience for any entertainment show in the world the program is aptly described as the "most watched television program in the world."

The program that is set to run for over 5 hours prime time will have 30 acts, 10 of which are sketch shows with this year's show utilising new technology.

"Creative programs are specially made for this gala, and there are few chances to see them elsewhere. For example, holographic technology and combination of Kung Fu with other traditional arts," CCTV quoted Zou Lei, the creative program director of CCTV Spring Festival Gala as saying.

"What's more, we try our best to showcase every traditional costume of the country's 56 different ethnic groups."

The much talked-about gala will feature big-time stars as well as newcomers. One of the performers will be a young boy who makes living by selling handbags in Hong Kong, reports CCTV.

According to the program list released by the TV channel on Tuesday, the spring festival gala will have 36 programs in total, which will include four songs, one dance performance, three cross talks, one acrobatics show, one magic show, three cross talks, one Chinese opera show and four innovative programs, notes local China Radio International's news website.

The show will be broadcast in its flagship CCTV-1 channel and also other satellite channels such as CCTV-4, CCTV-9, CCTV-E, CCTV-F and CCTV-HD. There is no official word on whether online live streaming will be allowed without hindrance although the TV channels have live broadcasting websites below.

For online live streaming, try the following links:



CCTV-E (Spanish language)

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