Spring Festival and the Year of the Rat are less than a month away, and are when China’s main new year celebrations will be taking place, but before that the country saw in 2020 with a host of TV galas, pop star performances, and firework replacement drone displays.
While not as popular as the annual Spring Festival galas, people nonetheless gathered to watch their favorite idols perform on four main New Years’ Eve concert events broadcast on Hunan Television, Jiangsu Television, Dragon Television and CCTV.
China’s hottest boy band and xiaoxianrou (“little fresh meat“) poster boys TFBoys performed their hit songs “My Friends,” “First Love Confession,” and “The Best Years” on Hunan TV New Year’s Eve Concert event to a crowd of cheering youngsters. The members Wang Junkai, Wang Yuan, and Jackson Yee, all aged 19 or 18, also broke out into emotional solo performances. To round out the New Year’s celebration, the trio led a cheesy but uplifting group performance of the 1985 Taiwanese classic “Tomorrow Will Be Better” (明天會更好) with a group of veteran singers.
International star Jackson Wang also joined the fun, delivering a swag-filled performance of “BIMMER RIDE (Different Game)” and “Bullet to the Heart.” His signature gravelly voice really came through in the live stage, and at one point he stripped off his jacket and threw it in the air, to raucous cheers.
Kris Wu, one of the biggest acts in China, helped ring in the new year by performing hits like “Eternal Love” and the iconic “Big Bowl, Thick Noodle” on TV.
However, it wasn’t his rapping, but rather his hand movements and alleged hickeys that caught the attention of netizens. The hashtags #KrisWuHandTremble and #KrisWuRespondtoRedMarks both gained over 50 million hits on Weibo.
Kris himself responded to these very serious allegations with a Weibo post, posting a picture of his mark-less neck and writing that it wasn’t a hickey but “mosquito bites or allergies.” Thank goodness that’s cleared up.
In other news, Kris’ former EXO bandmate Huang Zitao also made the rounds on Weibo when a male fan snuck a kiss during his performance (see hashtag #MaleFanSneakilyKissesHuangZitao).
Taking on the traditional TV stations this year was Bilibili‘s “The Last Night of 2019” gala, the first time the streaming platform had held such an event. At its peak, it was being watched by 82 million viewers. Alongside orchestral renditions of the Game of Thrones theme and bad boy rapper GAI performing the Nezha soundtrack, China’s most popular “virtual idol” Luo Tianyi sang the folk song “Jasmine Flower” backed by (human) pipa player Fang Jinlong.
The vocaloid flitted around the stage like a real-life fairy, surrounded by realistic-looking trees and flowers. Check out the futuristic performance below:
Meanwhile in Shanghai, 2,000 drones were taking to the skies as a more environmentally-friendly alternative to fireworks. The results were absolutely spectacular, as this video (from Chinese state broadcaster CGTN) shows.
Update: It now seems that this drone display didn’t actually happen — or at least didn’t happen on New Year’s Eve itself. The video has caused confusion online in China with numerous visitors to The Bund that evening stating that they didn’t see anything like the display shown in the video below.
Happy New Year!
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