The most important of the Chinese traditional festivals is the Chinese New Year also known as the ‘Spring Festival’ in China. It will be celebrated by roughly one and a half billion people all over the world.
It is the longest and the most important event in the Chinese calendar and is considered to be the single largest human migration . People across the country rush towards home in trains, buses and planes for their Lunar year celebrations loaded with presents and potables. The holiday is also known as Tet in Southeast Asia in which people dance and fireworks are launched.
The Spring Festival traveling period is known as ‘Chunyun’ which starts two weeks before the main event and will last for forty days. The train system of China gets affected the most during Chunyun as airplanes are way too expensive for the laborers traveling to get home in time for New Year’s Eve which falls on February 9 this year, marking the end of the Year of the Dragon and the start of the Year of the Snake.
Preparations for the celebration have begun, here are some images:
Lanterns are symbolic for the Chinese New Year celebrations. In this photo an employee works on a dragon lantern. This Chinese Lunar New Year’s Eve marks the end of the Year of the Dragon. Buying decorations and presents is an integral part of Chunyun.
Children and women buy plush toys depicting snakes as this Lunar New Year will mark the start of the year of the Snake.
A passenger in a Panda suit shows her ticket as she enters the Beijing Railway Station, celebrating the traveling season in a special way.
“Yangge” is a type of Chinese folk dance. In this photo, villagers practice yangge for the upcoming festival.
During a Spring Festival gala in Hunan province for migrant workers, a Chinese farmer carries two buckets of water weighing 5kgs (10 pounds) with his eyelids.
People prefer to travel through trains mostly during the traveling period. Trains get flooded with people during ‘Chunyun’.
Passengers rest and some even fall asleep while waiting for their trains outside railway stations. According to the Ministry of Transport, over 3.1 billion people are expected to travel via road or water during the traveling period.