Notre-Dame to regain spire this year and reopen end-2024

Notre-Dame Cathedrals spire will be back in place by the end of the year, but a full reopening following the devastating fire of 2019 will not happen before next years Paris Olympic Games.This photograph taken in Paris, on February 1, 2023 shows a crane in front of Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral, as reconstruction work takes place following the blaze of April 15, 2019. (Photo: AFP)The reconstruction is still on track for completion by the end of 2024, the culture ministry told AFP. "The site is progressing at a good pace," a spokesperson said. The authorities have previously given December 8 -- the Feast of the Immaculate Conception -- as a likely deadline. It means the 12th century cathedral, which previously saw some 12 million annual visitors, will not be able to welcome attendees of the Olympic Games which Paris is hosting in July and August 2024. But the sharp spire, added by architect Eugene Viollet-Le-Duc during the cathedrals redesign in the 19th century and replacing a previous wooden spire that had fallen into disrepair, will be back in place by the end of 2023, the ministry said.The collapse of the wooden spire was one of the most dramatic moments of the fire of April 15, 2019. An identical version has been made from the same original materials: 500 tonnes of oak wood for the structure and 250 tonnes of lead for the cover and ornaments. There have been health concerns over the lead debris from the fire, and the use of lead in the reconstruction, with French officials having to reassure their European counterparts that adequate safety measures have been taken. Preparatory work to start reinstalling the spire began this week, with scaffolding put in place and custom-cut base stones delivered along the River Seine. Once completed the spire will reach 100 metres high. Meanwhile, the painstaking clean-up work of the cathedrals interior walls -- a total of 42,000 m2 -- has been completed, along with that of murals, ironwork, joinery...

Dancers, displays, fireworks to light up Lantern Festival 4 Photos

Dancers, displays, fireworks to light up Lantern Festival

The grand finale of the Chinese New Year, the Lantern Festival falls on the 15th day of the 1st month of the Chinese calendar, which is February 5 this year. Lantern displays, fireworks shows, and lion dance performances are all in place to wish for a better future. (Compiled by Jiangjie, Zhang Lvewen and Wang Fengyang)

Miao people celebrate Manghao Festival in Guangxi


China's January box office exceeds 10b yuan

Driven by the robust ticket sales of the Spring Festival holiday movies, China's January box office exceeded 10 billion yuan ($1.48 billion), a record high for the month, according to data from the China Film Administration.

Hit show educating public on rule of law

A poster for the TV series "The Knockout." (Photo provided to China Daily)A police drama based on real organized crime cases is helping educate the public about the value of the rule of law and their rights, experts said.A special campaign launched by the central government on fighting organized crime and legal departments rectification measures are used as much of the background for The Knockout.The drama tells the story of a police officers fight against organized crime over 20 years, and shows the rise and demise of underworld figures and corrupt officials.It has received a rating of 9.1 out of 10 on Douban, one of Chinas most-visited review platforms, and has become one of the most discussed topics on social media since mid-January. The drama began screening on China Central Television and streaming platform iQiyi on Jan 14, with a total of 39 episodes to be aired.Many viewers have applauded the shows plotlines and the actors performances, and also praised the efforts of police officers in battling organized crime.In January 2018, the central authorities launched a three-year nationwide special campaign to fight organized crime.According to the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, from 2018 to 2020, authorities busted 3,644 mafia-like gangs and 11,675 other criminal gangs, detained 237,000 suspects and investigated 89,700 cases of "protective umbrellas", a reference to officials who hide gangsters crimes.The crackdown on organized crime, which involved multiple departments including public security and discipline inspection, as well as banks, continued after the campaign officially ended.In May 2022, the Anti-organized Crime Law took effect, giving greater legal clout to fight such crimes.From July 2020 to December 2021, commissions for political and legal affairs at all levels also conducted educational rectification for officials in public security organs...

China's January box office soars to record high

Driven by the robust ticket sales of the Spring Festival holiday movies, China's January box office totaled approximately 10 billion yuan (1.48 billion U.S. dollars) as of Tuesday afternoon, a record high for the month.

Beijing releases plan for Central Axis protection ahead of world heritage list application

BEIJING, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- A protection plan for Beijings Central Axis was released last weekend ahead of its application to become a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Site.A view of the central axis from Jingshan Mountain in Beijing. (Photo: CFP)The plan, from 2022 to 2035, for the first time specified the heritage zone and buffer zone of the conservation area.According to the plan, the heritage zone covers an area of about 5.9 square kilometers, including 15 heritage sites such as the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven. The buffer zone covers 45.4 square kilometers.A local official with the office for cultural heritage application and protection said that the plan is necessary for Beijings application for its Central Axis to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. The official also remarked that the plan marks a new step in the conservation work.First created in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), the Beijing Central Axis, or Zhongzhouxian, stretches 7.8 kilometers between the Yongding Gate in the south of the city and the Drum Tower and Bell Tower in the north. Most of the major old-city buildings of Beijing sit along this axis.The Beijing municipal government started preparation work for the world cultural heritage application of the Central Axis project in 2011. It was included in the preliminary list of Chinas world cultural heritage in 2012.

'The Wandering Earth II' kindles sci-fi enthusiasm among audiences

The sci-fi blockbuster "The Wandering Earth II" has not only raked in a whopping box office, but also aroused much attention on science and technologies that appeared in the movie, including space elevators, quantum computers, and nuclear fusions."The Wandering Earth II" poster and space suit props on display in a theater in Beijing, China, January 26, 2023. /CFPChinas movie box office revenue reached nearly 6.76 billion yuan (about $999.6 million) during the Spring Festival holiday from January 21 to 27, according to the China Film Administration."The Wandering Earth II" ranked second among six domestic titles released during the holiday, claiming a revenue of 2.16 billion yuan."Im impressed by the technologies rendered in the movie, particularly the space elevators that send people to space," said Wu Kexin, 14, after watching the movie together with her mom and sister in a theater in Hefei, capital of east Chinas Anhui Province.The key to realizing space elevators is to find a super-strong material that can be used as the elevator cable. The material needs to maintain good performance when exposed to harsh conditions in space, said Guan Qingfang, an associate research fellow at the University of Science and Technology of China, when asked about the feasibility of this technology.It might be long before space elevators could actually become reality. Still, the discussion of this technology itself reflects the ambition of, and charts the course for, mankind in the research and development of material science, according to Guan.To escape the harm of a rapidly burning sun, humans in the movie try to build about 10,000 massive engines powered by nuclear fusions to propel the earth to a place far from damaging solar flares.Nuclear fusion, the process of reuniting two light atomic nuclei to form a heavier one, can generate so much energy that "it makes sense in principle to use this energy to propel the earth,&q...

Ancient military treatise 'The Art of War' sells out thanks to hit Chinese TV show

The Art of War bamboo slips. (Photo: VCG) TV series The Knockout, which focuses on crackdowns on gang crimes and corruption, has become popular with Chinese audiences, sparking a lot of discussion on social media and boosting sales of the ancient Chinese military treatise The Art of War.The Art of War, dating from the Late Spring and Autumn Period (770BC-476BC) and introducing skills related to warfare and military strategy, has returned to the top of the bestseller lists for ancient books on several e-commerce platforms such as and Dangdang and some versions have sold out. Industry insiders said the sudden popularity of the book was thanks to the hit TV series.The manager of the Librairie Avant-garde bookstore in Southwest China’s Yunnan Province told the Global Times that she put the same version of The Art of War as that in the series in the bookstore and readers have been more interested.The series covers efforts by Chinese police to tackle gang crimes and corruption among officials. It features policeman An Xin (Zhang Yi) and Gao Qiqiang (Zhang Songwen) who leads a gang and cooperates with some officials in the local government to commit crimes.When the two characters first meet in 2000, they almost become friends and An recommends a series of books to Gao, who was just a poor fishmonger at the time, encouraging him to read more books and learn how to run a business. The Art of War was included in the book list.Gao researches the book carefully and some of his lines in the series are picked from the book, like “If you surround the enemy and have the certainty of victory, you must leave a gap and let him escape, otherwise he will make it a life and death struggle.” These lines attracted Chinese netizens, who found that the classic military text is full of wisdom.The Art of War is attributed to the ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Wu and remains the most influential text in East Asian warfare. It has influenced both Far Eastern and Western military ...

Tourists see sparks, flowers fly 4 Photos

Tourists see sparks, flowers fly

Tourists watch Dadianzi villagers perform traditional spark swinging on Thursday in Luanping county, North China's Hebei Province. (Photos: Liang Zhiqing/People's Daily; Compiled by Chen Xirui)Villagers use charcoal and scrap steel in tubes to create flower splashes and a halo effect.Spark swinging, or lunhua, was added to the national intangible cultural heritage list in 2014.

American Art Museum, Chinese Embassy celebrate Chinese New Year

Washington (People’s Daily) –Chinese Embassy charge d affaires Xu Xueyuan attended the 2023 Chinese New Year Celebration on Saturday at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC.Visitors learn about wood block prints, posters and paper-cuts at the 2023 Chinese New Year Celebration in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC on Saturday. (Photos: People’s Daily/Li Zhiwei)In her opening remarks, Xu expressed her appreciation for the unremitting efforts of the museum to carry on the tradition of presenting Chinese New Year celebration in partnership with the embassy and hosting the ninth annual event.Lion dancers at the 2023 Chinese New Year Celebration in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC on Saturday.She said she was glad to see art groups, cultural performances and crafts.Xu quoted rabbit officer Judy Hopps from the Disney movie Zootopia: “I implore you to try. The more we try to understand one another, the more exceptional each of us will be,” and encouraged guests to experience the Spring Festival customs and appreciate the beauty of cultural diversity.Children experience traditional Chinese culture at the 2023 Chinese New Year Celebration in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC on Saturday.Museum director Stephanie Stebich thanked the Embassy for supporting and participating in the Chinese New Year event and looked forward to more collaboration with the Chinese Embassy in the future.The museums courtyard was lit up with red lanterns, Chinese knots, paper-cuts and posters. Art groups performed lion dances, Chinese traditional dance and diabolo tricks. Green screen photos at the 2023 Chinese New Year Celebration in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC on Saturday.Visitors to the activity zone could try green screen photo booths, clay sculpture tutorials, traditional wood-block printing, Chinese painting, calligraphy, video games, and festive cards.This is the ninth Chinese New Year Celebrati...

Ready-made dishes edging onto dinner tables of Chinese families

People enjoy a family feast on the eve of the Spring Festival in Zunyi, southwest Chinas Guizhou Province, Jan. 21, 2023. (Photo: Xinhua)Chen Jia doesnt often cook, but she still managed to prepare a hearty meal on Chinese New Years Eve for her family without ordering any restaurant takeout."Thanks to the ready-made food I had purchased online, we enjoyed a decent Spring Festival dinner," said Chen, who lives in east Chinas Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang Province.The 31-year-old public servant couldnt help sharing photos of the semi-self-cooked feast on social media. Many of those were exquisite dishes such as sweet fermented rice stewed fish and mushroom casserole that require a complicated cooking process.Known as "3R food" (ready to cook, ready to heat, ready to eat) in the industry, ready-made food has gained wide popularity in China over recent years among both catering businesses and individual consumers. According to a report by consulting agency iiMedia Research, the market value of 3R food in China hit 345.9 billion yuan ($51.09 billion) in 2021 and is expected to exceed 515 billion yuan by 2023.In big cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, ready-made dishes have become regular items on the grocery shopping list of those who seek culinary fun but are short of leisure time.It is especially the case for traditional festivals, for which a feast at home still outweighs restaurant dining, as shown in a survey conducted by Hema Fresh, Alibabas fresh-food chain, before the Spring Festival. Over half of the customers surveyed said they would buy ready-made dishes for their family reunion dinner.In the e-commerce shops of short video platform Douyin, sales of ready-made food during the recent holiday shopping spree have increased 248 percent from a year ago.Those with hard-to-handle materials such as big-chunk seafood and meat are more popular than other categories, said Tian Xin, the general manager of Hema 3R Comm...

China's cultural industry logs steady growth in 2022

People visit a shopping complex in Guangzhou, south Chinas Guangdong Province, Jan. 1, 2023. (Photo: Xinhua)BEIJING, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- Chinas cultural sector maintained steady growth in terms of revenue last year, with new business models becoming more resilient, official data showed on Monday.The combined operating revenue of major companies in the sector topped 12.18 trillion yuan (about 1.8 trillion U.S. dollars) last year, up 0.9 percent year on year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).Five out of nine sub-sectors, including cultural content generation and production, and news information services, registered growth during the year 2022.Emerging business models in the cultural industry continued to build resiliency, with operating revenue up by 5.3 percent from a year ago to 4.39 trillion yuan. Sub-sectors such as digital publication and recreational smart drone production posted double-digit growth.The NBS data came from a survey of cultural companies with annual revenue of more than 20 million yuan or those meeting other standards set by the NBS.

Customs worth celebrating

The "Longhorn Miao" ethnic community in rural Liupanshui, Guizhou province, is known for the womens unique hairstyle that features a headpiece shaped like a pair of long horns. (Photo: China Daily)A museum long dedicated to the cultural and natural heritage of the Miao ethnic group is eyeing tourism, report Yang Jun and Wang Jin in Guiyang.Up until the end of the last century, a group of people lived a primal lifestyle deep in the mountains at the juncture of the Liuzhi region and Zhijin county in Southwest Chinas Guizhou province.With a population of around 5,000, members of this branch of the Miao ethnic group were easy to recognize due to the unique hairstyle of their women, featuring a headpiece shaped like a pair of long horns.Even today on festive occasions, the women wrap samples of their ancestors hair and black wool around the hairpieces and secure their large buns with white yarn. Apart from the headpiece that weighs about 3 kilograms each and takes at least 30 minutes to set, the women often wear striped pleated skirts and garments that have embroidery and batik designs.The community lives a self-sufficient life through farming and weaving, yet has distinctive ethnic customs, folk instruments, songs and dances, and festivals that pay tribute to nature.In 1995, Chinese and Norwegian scholars went on a field trip to Gaoxing village, one of the 12 villages where members of this Miao branch live. Three years later, China and Norway jointly established the Liuzhi Suojia Ecological Museum, considered the first of its kind in Asia.

Brands turn to traditional Chinese culture to attract young customers

Location Zero, a renovated store in Beijings Dongcheng district opened by time-honored snack brand Daoxiangcun, offers traditional pastries with new twists. (Photo: China Daily)To celebrate the Year of the Rabbit, time-honored Beijing snack brand Daoxiangcun launched gift boxes featuring festive snacks and traditional Chinese packaging.One of the gift boxes that has been particularly popular among young customers due to its cute appearance and trendy contents, features rabbit cake with soybean cheese carrot fillings, among other items.Shi Yan, deputy general manager of Beijing Daoxiangcun, said that in addition to the brands 200 or so regular snacks, it is creating new products to tempt the taste buds of younger shoppers, in addition to launching seasonal products such as autumn red-leaf cake."For those snacks that have been lost over the years, we are trying to replicate them by checking old recipe books and materials, as well as asking folklore experts about them," she said. "The current Chinachic trend is not just about a cool appearance, it has to resonate with traditional Chinese culture."Chinese pastry brands are looking to this trend to attract young customers through inheriting traditional Chinese culture, creating stylish products, and collaborating with other domestic brands.In August 2021, Daoxiangcun launched Location Zero, a renovated store in the Chinese capitals Dongcheng district, where a variety of authentic Beijing pastries with new twists are available.

Pastry chefs master the art of innovation

Pastry resembling a pineapple made by Chen Xiaodong (Photo: China Daily)With a fluffy mane, large gleaming eyes and two layers of eyelashes, a palm-sized piece of puff pastry shaped like a lions head has attracted millions of "likes" on the Douyin short-video platform.Tens of thousands of netizens have been toiling in kitchens in attempts to replicate the item.Wu Yang, 35, a pastry chef from Shenyang, capital of Liaoning province, who created the piece and has observed numerous failed efforts to reproduce it, is sharing detailed steps with his followers on how to make such an item. He gives instructions on perfecting the dough and performing specific cuts to the pastry.Wu has devoted himself to traditional Chinese puff pastry and dough sculptures for more than a decade. With his skillful hands and boundless imagination, he has created a wide range of pastry items.He gained inspiration for creating the lions head from the traditional Chinese folk art of lion dancing while watching the Wong Fei-hung film series, which began in 1991, and was centered on a martial artist who lived in Guangdong province."Traditional Chinese culture is my inspiration for making Chinese puff pastry. In the future, I hope more young people will understand the culture behind this form of pastry," Wu said.With a fluffy mane, large gleaming eyes and two layers of eyelashes, a palm-sized piece of puff pastry shaped like a lions head has attracted millions of "likes" on the Douyin short-video platform.Tens of thousands of netizens have been toiling in kitchens in attempts to replicate the item.Wu Yang, 35, a pastry chef from Shenyang, capital of Liaoning province, who created the piece and has observed numerous failed efforts to reproduce it, is sharing detailed steps with his followers on how to make such an item. He gives instructions on perfecting the dough and performing specific cuts to the pastry.

Popular TV soap sends hordes of tourists Dali's way

Tourists enjoy the natural beauty of Erhai Lake in Dali, Yunnan province, during the Spring Festival holiday on Jan 23. Photo/China DailyThe appeal of country life and finding inner peace in a quiet, ancient town close to grasslands and lakes, far from vehicles and laptops, drew large numbers of tou

Chinese sci-fi blockbuster 'The Wandering Earth II' breaks into Top 10 at North American weekend box office

Photo: XinhuaLOS ANGELES, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Despite a limited theatrical release in the United States and Canada, Chinas homemade sci-fi blockbuster "The Wandering Earth II" broke into the Top 10 at the North American box office this weekend, according to studio figures released by measurement firm Comscore on Sunday.The much-anticipated prequel to Chinas sci-fi epic, "The Wandering Earth," is being released by Well Go USA in Mandarin with English and Chinese subtitles in some major cities across the United States and Canada.Comscore senior movie analyst Paul Dergarabedian pointed out in an email to Xinhua that the film "had a terrific weekend rounding out the Top 10 with 1.355 million dollars in just 170 locations.""The Wandering Earth II" has earned 2.71 million dollars in North America since it was released on Jan. 22, the Chinese Lunar New Years Day.Dergarabedian added that the film "had another strong showing" with 144.325 million dollars for the weekend at global box office for a worldwide cume to date of 465.95 million dollars "riding a wave of Lunar New Year momentum.""The Wandering Earth," released in 2019, is the fifth highest-grossing non-English film in the world of all time, earning nearly 700 million dollars worldwide, including nearly 6 million dollars in North America.Directed by Guo Fan and starring Andy Lau, Wu Jing and Li Xuejian, "The Wandering Earth II" tells the story of mankind building enormous engines to propel Earth to a new solar system as the sun is rapidly burning out.This week, James Camerons science fiction film "Avatar: The Way of Water" remained victorious at the North American box office for the seventh consecutive weekend with an estimated three-day cume of 15.7 million U.S. dollars.

Renowned translator Yang Yi dies at 104

Yang Yi. (Photo/Weibo account of Yilin Publishing House)Renowned litterateur and translator Yang Yi died at 8:30 pm on Friday at the age of 104, Yilin Publishing House announced via Weibo.Yang was born in Tianjin in 1919 and began publishing her translations in 1936. Huxiaoshanzhuang, the Chinese name of Wuthering Heights, was one notable example. She also wrote many original works which were translated into multiple languages and published overseas. Her efforts greatly influenced the development of Chinese contemporary literature.

2023 Spring Festival Gala reached 16.216 billion people worldwide

Spring Festival Gala promotional videos played on outdoor screen at Times Square in New York, the United States. (Photo: CMG)The 2023 Spring Festival Gala, also known as Chunwan in Chinese, which was held last Saturday, has set a new viewership record with more than 16.216 billion people reached home and abroad, according to its broadcaster China Media Group (CMG) on Friday.CMG broadcasted published reports on the Spring Festival Gala to global audiences in 68 languages, with more than 1,000 media from 173 countries and regions broadcasting the gala live on Lunar New Years Eve, which falls on January 21st this year.Cable News Network (CNN) continues to broadcast promos for the Spring Festival Gala on its regional channels and on its website and clients, reaching more than 395 million subscribers worldwide.The Japanese video platform Niconico rebroadcast CMGs Spring Festival Gala for the eighth year in a row. The total number of viewers reached over 130,000, and the programs favorable rate reached 93 percent.CMG translated and produced ten language versions of the 2023 Spring Festival Gala in English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Russian, and other languages, customizing the subtitles for global audiences, interpreting the performances and introducing relevant allusions and historical background, thoughtfully setting up questions to create engaging, interactive experiences, and strengthening the in-depth dissemination of the Spring Festival Galas content.Spring Festival Gala promotional videos were played on more than 1,600 outdoor large screens and theater screens around the world and lit up many well-known landmarks, including the World Trade Center and Empire State Building in the United States, the Colosseum in Italy, and the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa in Dubai.A total of 3,334 reports about the Spring Festival Gala were released by China Global Television Network (CGTN) on all its platforms, with over 479 million views worldwide....

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