Chinese Lunar New Year is a time for family reunions meaning that many people travel long distances to return home to their families. The travel rush, also known as ‘chun yun’ in Chinese, is often referred to around the globe as the world’s largest mass migration.
According to Zhao Chenxin, spokesperson for the National Development and Reform Commission, the number of trips expected to be made during this year’s ‘chun yun’ is up some 2.2 percent on last year. The number of road trips is projected to reach 2.52 billion as people head home to see their families.
For some migrant workers who work in the big cities, it will be the only time in the year that they get to see their families. China has around 277 million migrant workers according to figures released last year by the National Bureau of Statistics.
Passengers wait to board trains at Shanghai’s Hongqiao Railway Station as millions of Chinese travel home
Train travel in the country is expected to reach 356 million trips with cities such as Hangzhou, Nanning and Kunming noted as some of the busiest stations.
Air Travel is growing in popularity with 58.3 million trips expected, a 10 percent increase on 2016. While the number of people travelling by boat during the holidays is set to hit 43.5 million.
However transportation authorities have warned that adverse weather conditions such as snow and fog could add pressure to the travel rush. A recent survey of those travelling by train found that most people were concerned with the price of tickets and also waiting around at stations.
What is Chunyun?
Chunyun is the travel rush as people in China head home to spend time with their families for Chinese New Year.
It is an official term used by the National Development and Reform Commission which releases the official data on the number of people travelling during the 40-day period. January 24 marked the peak day for passenger flow with around 83 million people travelling on that day.
Many of the people travelling during this period are students or migrant workers who return home to visit their families. For many of the migrant workers who work in the big cities, this will be the only time they get to return home during the entire year.
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Article: Daily Mail / Image: Reuters