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Fun-filled holiday offers TV galas, gifts and lots of things to do
By Xu Wei

DURING the weeklong Spring Festival holiday, people will be offered a variety of light-hearted TV shows and cultural activities.

International Channel Shanghai (ICS) will present an East-meets-West charity Spring Festival Gala Show featuring performances from both Chinese and foreign celebrities at 8pm on February 10, Chinese New Year's Day.

Chinese-American stand-up comedian Joe Wang, who was invited to perform on America's "Late Show with David Letterman," will bring his latest jokes - some that Chinese find funny and some that don't get a laugh. His jokes tend to go down better in the US where he lives.

Foreign singers will perform well-known Chinese songs while Chinese amateurs will stage Western-style rap, rock and hip-hop. All proceeds will be donated to poor students and teenagers with disabilities in remote areas of China.

Also on February 10, Dragon TV will air a star-studded gala at 7:30pm. Taiwanese model and actress Lin Chi-ling and mainland comedy star Huang Bo will be guest performers. Another guest is South Korean rapper Psy, whose song "Gangnam Style" was the global pop sensation of 2012.

The cast of the most popular Chinese epic TV series of the year, "Empresses in the Palace," will put in an appearance. The series by Zheng Xiaolong is expected to be made into six TV films and debuted on a major US TV channel later this year.

During the gala, Hong Kong filmmaker Peter Chan will promote his latest work, "American Dreams in China," based on the true story of Michael Yu, who founded New Oriental School in 1993.

The gala will also feature Sun Yang, the first Chinese male swimmer to win an Olympic gold medal.

Haha TV will offer children a New Year's gala at 7:30pm on February 10. Kiddie show hosts will sing theme songs of popular animated series such as "Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf" and "GG Bond."

A new program based on the popular game show "Family Game Night" will be launched during the holiday. Each episode features two families competing for cash and prizes by taking part in different board and video games.

Besides, both foreign and domestic TV and film productions such as "SpongeBob SquarePants," "Where the Bears Are" and "Mona the Vampire" will also be shown, exploring issues of environmental protection, friendship and coming of age.

Channel Young will present a series of light-hearted Spring Festival shows. On Chinese New Year's Eve (February 9), an eight-hour special will be aired about Chinese festival food and dishes, from 12pm to 8pm.

Ah Nan, a popular food program host, will reveal cooking secrets and culinary culture in a seven-episode show slated for release from February 9 to 15 at 10pm.

To celebrate the Year of the Snake, from February 6 to 28, Shanghai Ocean Aquarium will exhibit snake-like ribbon eels. Unlike most others, ribbon eels go through dramatic color changes during their life. Juveniles are black, males are blue and females are yellowish green. Visitors can take part in interactive quizzes and games about sea creatures.

On February 13, Shanghai City Theater will stage a performance of Spanish Flamenco, Paso Doble and classic Spanish songs. Spanish artists will also perform Chinese songs to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

Wheelock Square will offer New Year's "snake-themed" gifts designed by renowned Hong Kong calligrapher David Chan. They include limited-edition red envelopes, a calendar and gift box designed like a Chinese tangram puzzle.

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