URUMQI, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Zeynepgul Abdurahman and her family, along with their friends in Kashgar, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, are anticipating the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year with renewed excitement, as the ancient city has been earmarked as one of the branch venues for the popular CCTV Spring Festival Gala.
"We've agreed to watch the Spring Festival Gala together on New Year's Eve," said Zeynepgul Abdurahman.
Local resident Xing Zhenzhen expressed her hope to see more high-tech elements incorporated into the upcoming gala, while also wishing for the Year of the Dragon to bring warmth, hope and strength.
Scheduled for Feb. 9, the 2024 CCTV Spring Festival Gala is being planned across the country, with the main venue in Beijing and branch venues in Xinjiang and provinces of Liaoning, Hunan and Shaanxi.
In anticipation of the most important traditional Chinese festival, Kashgar has been meticulously decorated. The main thoroughfares are adorned with over 40,000 strings of lights, as well as more than 50,000 lanterns and Chinese knots, enhancing the charm of the ancient city's scenic spots when illuminated at night.
Jiao Junfeng, a staffer at the city's administration bureau, said that the entire city will dazzle after dark.
Wang Zhi, Kashgar's deputy mayor, also noted that the urban management, electricity, telecommunications and fire departments have collaborated to ensure that the gala runs smoothly.
Amidst the festive atmosphere, Kashgar has witnessed a surge in tourism.
"We like Kashgar very much, therefore, we will spend the Spring Festival holiday here," said Wu Chunyan, a tourist from northeastern Liaoning Province, adding it was her second time visiting Kashgar.
According to local tourism authorities, Kashgar prefecture boasts nearly 700 hotels, with the Kashgar city alone offering over 400 hotels, guesthouses and homestays, totaling more than 40,000 beds to accommodate tourists' needs.