China gears up for largest annual human migration as CNY draws near

A paramilitary policeman tries to control passengers at a railway station in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, on Jan 24, 2014. China is gearing up for the peak travel period of the world's largest annual human migration, as the Spring Festival natio
A paramilitary policeman tries to control passengers at a railway station in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, on Jan 24, 2014. China is gearing up for the peak travel period of the world's largest annual human migration, as the Spring Festival national holidays draws near. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (AFP) - China is gearing up for the peak travel period of the world's largest annual human migration, as the Spring Festival national holidays draws near.

Hundreds of millions of migrant workers will return home to their backwater towns and rural villages before the Lunar New Year, which falls this year on Jan 31.

"The country's transport system will witness the busiest time in the next days, as a vast number of people rush home," Xinhua state news agency said in a report Saturday. The number of road passengers reached 92.63 million on Friday, making a total of 772 million since Jan 16, up 4.4 per cent from last year.

Transport officials predict Chinese passengers will make 3.62 billion trips during the Lunar New Year period, including 3.2 billion trips by road.

"The idea of Spring Festival is to go back to spend quality time with family members, wrap dumplings, and watch the Spring Festival Gala," a man surnamed Sun told Agence France-Presse at Beijing Railway Station, referring to an annual yearly performance by comedians, dancers and singers which families commonly watch together on television.

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