As CNY comes to close, families make their return to the cities with the bounty of home town produce… anyway they can.
The Spring Festival Travel Season, or Chunyun (春运), is well underway as people race home to chow down on dumplings and set the country ablaze with crackers and fireworks.
Of course Spring Festival and Chinese New Year is much more than overeating and going deaf or possibly being blinded, but we’ll talk about that another day, today it’s all about travel chaos, as millions pour into China’s transport system try to make it home.
The 2016 Spring Festival travel period runs from January 24 to March 3, a total of 40 days with peaks around February 5 and 7, and again between February 11 and 13. Here’s a number to scare you, it’s expected that a staggering 2.91 billion trips will take place according to the NDRC (more here). It probably doesn’t scare ticket sellers or petrol station owners though.
It’s that time again, when a whole country goes from ON… to OFF. The Spring Festival Travel Season, or Chunyun (春运), which goes for 40 days is well underway having started Jan 16 and will finish Feb 24. Many people wont finish work until tomorrow leaving them little time to get home for the all important re-union dinner on new years eve. Most will get around 7 days off, which is a mix of official days off and days accrued from working extra days prior. Some people will take extended leave and some even stay in their hometown for the month.
The Spring Festival is a fifteen day celebration where most Chinese people have at least seven days holiday, and within the festival is the beginning of the Chinese New Year. It’s a very special time for Chinese.
For my first year in China, my first Spring Festival began in Shenzhen where I witnessed the effects of the mass migration of workers back to their home cities (see:). Also in Shenzhen I was lucky enough to watch an unimaginable display as every city block was alight with fireworks, with a roof top view, for as far as the eye could see, all that could be seen was a sky filled with color.