Millions make chunyun trip home
February 11, 2010 | Posted by Chris
A survey jointly conducted by Wudaokou's Tsinghua University and the China Tourism Academy finds that 1 in 3 urban Chinese are prepared to travel during the Spring Festival holiday, the China Daily reports. Informally known as Chinese New Year, Spring Festival in China is often characterized by the high percentage of the population that travels back home to observe the holiday with family. A total of 2.54 billion journeys are expected to be made during the extended Spring Festival period, and between January 30 and February 9, 609 million Chinese had already hit the road by bus or rail, a figure that is up 8.5% from the same period last year. Despite the inconvenience of crowded transportation and the challenges of poor weather, this phenomenon of traveling during Spring Festival thrives in part because going home for the holidays is ingrained in Chinese culture. At least one observer writes that this phenomenon -- called chūnyùn or 春运 in Chinese -- is about tradition. "This massive movement of people is rooted in the soul of the traditional family culture...what chunyun really fulfills is making a dream, that has remained in our history for thousands of years, come true: Family reunion," opines writer Wu Meng. Chinese New Year's Day is February 14, and 2010 is the year of the Tiger.