By Fuat Kabakci and Tevfik Durul
BEIJING (AA) – Chinese authorities are expecting nearly 3.3 billion trips during the “Chunyun” — the name given to the travel rush around the spring festival celebrated during the country’s Lunar New Year.
Chinese people have started the “world’s largest inland migration” movement, which will last for 40-days between Jan. 13 and Feb. 21.
The massive movement of people in China is considered as one of the largest in the modern world when people go to their homelands collectively in the country where the New Year is one of the most important traditions celebrated with family members.
The Year of the Rooster and the official holiday in China will start on Saturday, and last for seven days. However, people generally extend this period to 40 days, taking leave before and after the holiday, for preparations and visits of relatives and friends at their homes.
In China, an estimated 292 million people work in large cities outside their hometowns.
Trains are the most preferred means of public transportation in the country, which has a population of 1.37 billion. The number of people traveling by train during the period is expected to reach 356 million, which is an increase of 9.7 percent over the previous year.
Chinese travelers, who can be seen in big numbers at the Beijing Central Railway Station, told Anadolu Agency they were excited to return to their homes and families in time for the festivities.
Ma Rao, a traveler, praised the transportation services in China, saying it had developed over time and now it was easier for people to travel.
“We come together to spend the new year, we eat together, we have fun,” Ma Rao said.
Cang Rong, another train passenger, said: “When I reach my country, we meet with my friends. About 30-40 people come together. We are preparing a variety of dishes to celebrate the new year together.
“Since my friends are from different towns and provinces, they are making their famous dishes, sacks. We celebrate our new year with different, regional dishes from the southern provinces of Gujran, Guangdong and Guanxi provinces.”
Also, the number of people making plane trips increased by 10 percent this year; 58.3 million people will travel by air during the Chunyun period, authorities added.