The huge migration of people in China back to their family homes for Spring Festival is called Chunyun. It’s the massive rush of people by plane, train, and automobile that has become the largest annual migration of people in the world.
Every year, millions of people travel across China to return home and spend their Chinese New Year holiday with their families.
We asked seven people to document their travel on social media. Combined they travelled more than 23,000 kilometers (14,000 miles) to get home for the New Year. Check out our map below to follow along, and click on their map locations to see pictures from their journey.
|NAME||DISTANCE TRAVELLED||BEGAN JOURNEY||FINAL LOCATION||FIND ME WITH THE…|
|Lucifer||11,125 km||Washington Dulles International Airport (D.C.)||Beijing||Green mountains|
|Soler||2,033 km||Qingdao, Shandong||Ya’an, Sichuan||Red “T”|
|Good Morning||6,558 km||Abu Dhabi International Airport||Shanghai||Blue airplane|
|Crazy donuts||1,294 km||Beijing||Changzhou, Jiangsu||Yellow shopping bag|
|Bella-Yan-2016||95 km||Jurong, Jiangsu||Changzhou, Jiangsu||White circle|
|Du||468 km||Tianjin||Xinzhou, Shanxi||Purple camera|
|Kong||1,688 km||Shanghai||Inner Mongolia||Orange letter|
According to China’s top economic planner, over 2.91 billion trips are expected between Jan. 24 and March 3 – the 40 days of travel rush for the hugely popular holiday.
Travel for the Year of the Monkey has already had some hiccups, with one recent incident stranding 40,000 passengers at the Guangzhou Railway Station as trains were delayed due to weather.
Decline in Number of Stranded Passengers at South China's Railway StationMore than 40,000 passengers remained stranded at the Guangzhou Railway Station as of 21:45 on Tuesday, as trains were delayed due to weather conditions while numerous travelers gathered at the station to head home for the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year.
Data published by Baidu on first day of this year’s Chunyun showed Beijing and Shanghai were the two busiest cities, with a combined outbound traffic stream making up 40 percent of travel happening at the time.
In previous years, Chinese cities like Beijing typically tended to empty out during the Spring Festival holidays, because many migrant workers and students leave the city for their smaller hometowns. But many young people have settled in cities. Rather than leave they chose to ask their parents to come into the big cities to join them for Spring Festival reunions.
From the first day of the Chunyun travel rush, data on the different modes of travel showed that most travelled by train, airplane or high-speed train.
Also this year, many from cities such as Shanghai, Tianjin, and the Guangdong area choose to rent a car or to carpool with friends that were going to the same towns.
More than 7,000 results were found from a search for “Spring Festival” and “carpool” on 58.com, China’s equivalent of Craigslist, where people offer or look for spare seats to get home instead of taking overcrowded public transportation.