Beijing — If you think your family reunions are crazy big, think again.
On Friday, 13 January, hundreds of thousands of Chinese travellers are packing airports, train and bus stations as they head home for Lunar New Year celebrations.
Officials say they expect that Chinese travellers will make almost 3 billion trips during the holiday travel rush that starts on 13 January and runs through 21 February 2017.
Each year, it represents the world’s largest seasonal migration of people as families reunite for China’s most important traditional holiday. Also known as Spring Festival, it falls on 28 January this year.
This year – the Year of the Rooster – Chinese authorities expect holidaymakers to make 2.5 billion trips by land, 356 million by rail, 58 million by plane and 43 million by sea over this 40-day period.
In the seven days of the Lunar New Year, Chinese are expected to spend more than R1.4 billion (from $100 billion) on eating and shopping and buy railway tickets online at a rate of more than 1 000 per second.
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Travellers lugging large bags were rushing into the Beijing Railway Station on Friday morning to catch trains home.
Su Wenqi, a college student in Beijing returning to the northeastern city of Harbin, was looking forward to reuniting with family saying that: “After a busy year, I really miss them. ”
This is what the ‘Chinese Migration’ looks like:
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