URUMQI, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- The city of Kashgar in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region was one of the venues of the popular CCTV Spring Festival Gala on Friday evening, and the ancient city and its unique customs and traditions have become hot topics of conversation across the country.
Kashgar has been a cultural hub along the Silk Road since ancient times. Its gala venue integrated the rich cultural heritage of the ancient city with modern elements, showcasing the new face of Kashgar for the new era, said Zeng Jian, general director of the Kashgar CCTV Spring Festival Gala venue.
Zeng noted that more than 2,500 outstanding performers from across the region participated in the gala, making it one of the largest cultural events Xinjiang has ever held.
Part of the performance stages were constructed on the rooftops of 12 ordinary homes in the ancient city of Kashgar.
The spectacular performances were not only well-received among local residents, but also captivated audiences across the country.
Mrabik Sawaq, a Kashgar resident who watched the gala with his family on Lunar New Year's Eve, said, "This year's Spring Festival Gala had a clear theme and was full of advanced technological elements. I was deeply impressed. The performances at the Kashgar venue -- particularly the unique ethnic dances and musical performances -- filled me with immense pride."
"The stage design and program of this year's Spring Festival Gala exuded a festive atmosphere," said He Kui, another Kashgar resident, adding that the gala showcased the beauty of Kashgar's people, dances and scenery to the whole country. "I hope more people from all over the country will visit Xinjiang and Kashgar."
Kashgar has been in the spotlight since the announcement of its participation in the gala. People from all over the country have flocked to the ancient city, driving rapid growth in its tourism industry.
Statistics show that in January, the Kashgar prefecture received 1.62 million tourists, an 11.6 percent year-on-year increase, and generated a tourism revenue of 1.32 billion yuan (about 185.82 million U.S. dollars), a 12.59 percent year-on-year increase. ■