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.

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.

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.

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The data map of migration published by Baidu shows the busiest routes on the first day of the Spring Festival travel rush.

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.

Baidu big data
Baidu data

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, China’s equivalent of Craigslist, where people offer or look for spare seats to get home instead of taking overcrowded public transportation.
Chunyun mode travel info