Chun Yun: World’s Largest Yearly Human Migration, 1995-2011

Putting down a year's weariness, one out of 10 Chinese people again embark on the road home. Endless waits, crowds of people, filthy air, every part of the journey difficult. The brave people returning home, bear upon their bodies the gray memories of China's Chun Yun.

Putting down a year's weariness, one out of 10 Chinese people again embark on the road home. Endless waits, crowds of people, filthy air, every part of the journey difficult. The brave people returning home, bear upon their bodies the gray memories of China's Chun Yun.

Chun Yun is the world’s largest regular migration of people. It occurs every year around the Chinese New Year or Spring Festival holiday. Chun Yun can be translated as “Spring Festival Rush” or “Spring Festival Migration”. Below are some photographs capturing scenes of this yearly phenomenon from 1995 till this year 2011. You can click on the photos for a larger version and slideshow.

From NetEase:

Remembering Chun Yun in Gray

"Chun Yun" has been called history's largest periodic human migration. Within a span of around 40 days, over 2 billion trips are made. Photo is of 2008 where passengers were delayed at the Guangzhou Railway Station due to snowstorms.

"Chun Yun" has been called history's largest periodic human migration. Within a span of around 40 days, over 2 billion trips are made. Photo is of 2008 where passengers were delayed at the Guangzhou Railway Station due to snowstorms.

2001 Chun Yun period, a woman exhausted in the ticket lines.

2001 Chun Yun period, a woman exhausted in the ticket lines.

1999 Chun Yun period, a migrant worker feels unwell due to the crowding.

1999 Chun Yun period, a migrant worker feels unwell due to the crowding.

1999 Chun Yun period, a little boy rides on his father's shoulders in a stream of people.

1999 Chun Yun period, a little boy rides on his father's shoulders in a stream of people.

2000 Chun Yun period, a train platform attendant helps travelers get off the train through the train's windows.

2000 Chun Yun period, a train platform attendant helps travelers get off the train through the train's windows.

2002, Beijing Railway Station, because the train car is so crowded the doors can't shut, a train worker must use force to pull passengers off the train.

2002, Beijing Railway Station, because the train car is so crowded the doors can't shut, a train worker must use force to pull passengers off the train.

2002 Chun Yun period, within a crowded train car, a little boy screams from squeezed.

2002 Chun Yun period, within a crowded train car, a little boy screams from squeezed.

2006 Chun Yun period, a mother sleeps deeply while holding her child inside a train car.

2006 Chun Yun period, a mother sleeps deeply while holding her child inside a train car.

2001 January 19th, the K282 train from Shanghai to the southwest region of the country was 3x overcapacity, with the passengers squeezed beside the toilets not moving for nearly 50 hours, and those having to use the toilet having to wait 2 hours and more.

2001 January 19th, the K282 train from Shanghai to the southwest region of the country was 3x overcapacity, with the passengers squeezed beside the toilets not moving for nearly 50 hours, and those having to use the toilet having to wait 2 hours and more.

1999 Chun Yun, Zhuzhou Railway Station, on a train from Henan, an old man who could bear being squeezed no longer jumps off the train, begging help from the police. The old man's son did not jump down from the train, and was transported to Guangdong.

1999 Chun Yun, Zhuzhou Railway Station, on a train from Henan, an old man who could bear being squeezed no longer jumps off the train, begging help from the police. The old man's son did not jump down from the train, and was transported to Guangdong.

1995 January 19th, Guangzhou Railway Station, because of the large amount of travelers, a freight boxcar temporarily served as a passenger train car.

1995 January 19th, Guangzhou Railway Station, because of the large amount of travelers, a freight boxcar temporarily served as a passenger train car.

2003 Chun Yun period, a passenger who had suddenly died in the train car was carried out onto the station platform.

2003 Chun Yun period, a passenger who had suddenly died in the train car was carried out onto the station platform.

2003, Guangzhou Railway Station, a couple holding each other and weeping after having lost their money and train tickets.

2003, Guangzhou Railway Station, a couple holding each other and weeping after having lost their money and train tickets.

2006 January 20th, light rain at the Guangzhou Railway Station, Cao uses a thin plastic sheet to cover his head as he waits for his train in the wind and rain waiting for his train to Wuchang. His train departs at 3am in the middle of the night and since there are still 11 hours until it leaves, he is unable to enter the station yet.

2006 January 20th, light rain at the Guangzhou Railway Station, Cao uses a thin plastic sheet to cover his head as he waits for his train in the wind and rain waiting for his train to Wuchang. His train departs at 3am in the middle of the night and since there are still 11 hours until it leaves, he is unable to enter the station yet.

2008 February 1st, southern ice storms caused disruptions to the railway lines, with hundreds of thousands of passengers delayed outside of the Guangzhou Railway Station.

2008 February 1st, southern ice storms caused disruptions to the railway lines, with hundreds of thousands of passengers delayed outside of the Guangzhou Railway Station.

2008 February 2nd, outside the Guangzhou Railway Station, a large amount of police maintain order.

2008 February 2nd, outside the Guangzhou Railway Station, a large amount of police maintain order.

2008 January 30th, light rain in Guangzhou, a delayed passenger raises his head from under the umbrellas.

2008 January 30th, light rain in Guangzhou, a delayed passenger raises his head from under the umbrellas.

2008 January 31st, outside the Guangzhou Railway Station plaza, a passenger who had fainted amongst the crowd is lifted up and carried to help.

2008 January 31st, outside the Guangzhou Railway Station plaza, a passenger who had fainted amongst the crowd is lifted up and carried to help.

2008 February 1st, the mess outside the Guangzhou Railway Station plaza.

2008 February 1st, the mess outside the Guangzhou Railway Station plaza.

2010 January 20th, at a temporary train ticket purchasing point at the Ningbo Exhibition Center, in the middle of a long line, young Liang Xiangui from Guangxi has fallen asleep while leaning over the divider. This is the first time he will be going home in the past three years.

2010 January 20th, at the temporary train ticket purchasing point at the Ningbo Exhibition Center, in the middle of a long line, young Liang Xiangui from Guangxi has fallen asleep while leaning over the divider. This is the first time he will be going home in the past three years.

2011 January 19th, Ningbo East Railway Station's temporary waiting area is filled with waiting passengers, with many of the passengers having brought blankets to sleep on the ground.

2011 January 19th, Ningbo East Railway Station's temporary waiting area is filled with waiting passengers, with many of the passengers having brought blankets to sleep on the ground.

2011 January 19th, Beijing West Railway Station, at a temporary ticketing window, a passenger prepares to buy a train ticket.

2011 January 19th, Beijing West Railway Station, at a temporary ticketing window, a passenger prepares to buy a train ticket.

2011 January 18th, Jiaxing in Zhejiang province, a migrant worker holds the train ticket he just purchased between his chapped and cracking fingers, showing it to someone who is also from his hometown that is still waiting in line. Officials estimate that 2.85 billion trips will be made during the 2011 Chun Yun period, and with continued rain, snow, and freezing weather conditions, China's transportation system once again faces a huge challenge.

2011 January 18th, Jiaxing in Zhejiang province, a migrant worker holds the train ticket he just purchased between his chapped and cracking fingers, showing it to someone who is also from his hometown that is still waiting in line. Officials estimate that 2.85 billion trips will be made during the 2011 Chun Yun period, and with continued rain, snow, and freezing weather conditions, China's transportation system once again faces a huge challenge.

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  • http://baihaifeng.blogspot.com Dr. Jones Jr.

    Woo, prepares for the rush…

    • http://baihaifeng.blogspot.com Dr. Jones Jr.

      …to the hard seat sofa.

      Seriously, though, this is the first Spring Festival in five years upon which I’ve not only *not* gotten the hell out of China for the duration but also plan to make a long-distance, domestic, round-trip journey. There’s a lot to be said for celebrating the Spring Festival at one’s home, then traveling to visit the relatives a few days later. Half-price airline tickets, for one.

      I fully understand why many Chinese do not wish to settle for that–not least that their vacation periods are short and who would want to stay put in a factory hell hole during the holiday period? Still. Until the day that mass teleportation services open, Chun Jie will remain (perhaps) the most arduous annual human migration in the world.

  • Yurp

    Okay I really need to ask: WHY?

    Is it really worth going through this just to be with relatives during Spring Festival? Is the notion that your elders are important really so embedded into peoples’ minds that they simply cannot turn away from this? I would never put up with this shit just to go home. Any input? Genuinely curious.

    • Schamotnik

      A lot of people don’t make the trip home every year, so some of them haven’t seen their family for 2-3 or even more years..
      While I agree that it seems crazy for most migrant workers it’s the only time of the year were they are actually allowed to make the trip home..

      • bob

        they don’t make it home only because they don’t have the means to do so (no money).

        • Kerry

          Nah, for most migrant workers chun jie is the only break they get, ie the only chance to go home. Transport in China is cheap these days, basically anyone can afford to travel home. Which explains the mad rush. Back in my mom’s era, there were no chun yuns because nobody migrated.

    • bob

      Well, that’s cause you’re not Chinese. CNY is the most important date for any REAL Chinese. More important than Christmas is to Christians, or Hanukkah to Jews.

      • staylost

        I understand what you are trying to say, but many REAL Chinese are pretty apathetic about seeing family on the Spring Holiday. I get what you are saying about it being a deep cultural myth (not in the fake sense, but in the intrinsic yearning sense) to see family during the CNY. Still, Chinese are hugely diverse, and a Tibetan or Western Muslim or Modern Academic is just as Chinese as a Han in Hebei. Not all of these people care about CNY but they are just as truly Chinese as those who devotedly show their love to their family every CNY.

        fyi Easter should be more important to REAL Christians than Christmas as it celebrates the defining moment of Christianity. And I’m no expert on Judaism, but Hanukkah would seem to be less important than every Saturday marking creation.

      • Zardoz

        Actually Hanukkah is a very minor Jewish holiday. The only reason why it seems big is that its near Christmas and the retailer play it up to increase sales. You’re closet analogy is probably “Yom Kippur” in terms of family gatherings, etc.

      • Jon

        Hanukkah is considered a minor holiday by Jews. The three big ones are Passover, Yom Kippur, and Rosh Hashana (the new year).

    • bobiscool

      Great. You have no respect for your elders, and no love for your family. After working hard for a whole year, you wouldn’t want to meet your loved ones even for a few days.
      Then again, an asshole like you probably wouldn’t work hard anyway.

      That doesn’t mean everyone else in the world has to be as like you.

      • Yurp

        lol u mad? If you love your elders so much, why do you only talk to them once a year? How about giving them a call once in a while?

        [Note from Fauna: Why do you assume they do not give them a call once in a while and only talk to them once a year?]

    • justmega

      The same can be said about Thanksgiving. Albeit, it’s nowhere near as crazy as this. Long lines, TSA fondling your junk, rude passengers. The list goes on.

      Excuse my presumptuousness but it’s easy for an occidental cockroach whose filial priorities are diminished if not non-existent to not understand. These cockroaches are hard-wired to do this. Akin, to seasonal migration of animals.

      Remember, these cockroaches have basically been on lock down in some dirty, toxic factory making the junk that occidental cockroaches love in order to support Mrs roach and the little roaches. They need a break from seeing the same ugly cockroach co-workers faces.

    • Adam

      something foreigners may never understand how heavy this word mean to Chinese..家, which means HOME

      • Fman

        I hope I never understand then the complexity of what the word is in Chinese or I may become “迟钝” which means retarded. I personally don’t give a shit how “heavy” the word is in Chinese, to a foreigner it looks quite retarded regardless of its heaviness.

        • Adam

          um, looking at your comment reminds me how shitty foreign families easily break apart and couples’ divorce rate is 23 times higher than the Chinese, well, your reply explained why.

          • k2000k

            Cultural, given from what I have been told by native Chinese during trips to China and at my university the infidelity rate is higher there than in the west, honestly I had a hard time believing it, but they assured me it was true. So take your pick, families separating or families fucking behind everyones back.

        • mankouzanghua

          TIL, this is laowai. ;) i’m sorry to have to use this on fman as i like some of his previous posts.

          about divorce rates, it seems to me most divorces in “the west” (if you could generalize) occur because one or both people get bored, and they believe the marriage might as well end because it’s no longer fun and passionate. personally, i’ll take devotion to family over this. believing that i’ll ultimately be happier if i just change to a fresh person seems pretty retarded to me.

          • Ho Hum

            No. The divorce rates increased in the west in tandem with a) the increased standing of females and b) the development of the no-fault divorce. Nowadays, something like 90% of divorces are originally initiated by women. Basically, more western women today aren’t willing to put up with being in an unhappy marriage. I have certain reservations with the no-fault divorce, and there are always downsides that come along with the upsides, but overall I think a higher divorce rate because people no longer accept being in a miserable relationship is a sign of a healthy – and not a sick – society. Don’t forget that parents who stay together “for the kids” often end up scarring them for life with the toxic effects of their dysfunctional relationship.

  • Alex

    First time I leave China in 6 years during winter holiday. best decision in my life.

    Hahhaa. So confy at home :)

  • PUSAN PLAYA

    The problem with China is that it has too many Chinamen

    • QuisTrollietIpsosTrolles

      A problem that Beijing, Qingdao, New York and Sydney have in common is that there are too many Koreans.

      It is a well known fact, reported by The Korea Herald that small desk fans kill up to 10 Koreans a week through asphyxiation and absolutely nobody else. Which is why China is making the bulk of the world’s large scale wind turbines, despite not showing any domestic interest in clean energy. One day they will apply voltage across the dynamos at their wind farms in Jilin and Liaoning and you guys and your retarded cousins up north are both fucked.

      Seriously, with your snide remarks, are you assuming that none of us has met a Korean? I’ve watched you people copy each other and those around them to the extent of even ordering the same thing at a restaurant as their boss, even if they don’t want it simply because they don’t have the balls to speak out. This legendary indecisiveness is why America is in charge of the South Korean military. Trying to entertain a Korean guest is torture because you have to ask the moron if he wants a drink or a piece of cake or whatever five times for “politeness” or some shit, even if you know he really wants it and will quietly get shitty with you if you walk away after he says no. As far as being annoying Asian cultural curmudgeons the Koreans have the Chinese completely beaten since Chinese will basically attempt to understand their current environment (and exploit it) whereas Koreans will just close their eyes and pretend they are in Seoul.

      Also, I can’t help but imagining marrying a beautiful Korean girl and having a really ugly kid before realizing that the kid looks exactly like she did before her face was cut into a pretty shape. I’m talking really ugly, like reigning Starcraft champion Flash ugly.

      Damn it Playa, you’ve made some very clever comments in the past, but this is just not fucking trying. If you want to say cutting remarks about the Chinese, it’s fine, that’s why we love you. If you just want to post moronic asides then that’s fine, I am sure plenty of people have asides about Koreans that they would love to share.

      • Bo Wang

        I have to note that besides USA and Israel, the only other country where male circumcision is very prevalent is South Korea. This circumcision phenomenon only appeared after the Korean war. Koreans love copying their American masters so much that they’re willing to chop off their foreskins.

        Also, Korean men have the smallest average penis size in the world. They’re obviously jelly of their uncut, superior Chinese neighbors.

        • Kim Haneul

          No one is jelly of your dirty uncut curved wang.

        • justmega

          Wow, you have spent a lot of time researching and dwelling on other mens penises. What does that say about you?

          • Bo Wang

            Do you miss your foreskin, justmega?

      • darkandlovelykissedbythe

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKwW-pIzJsk&feature=autoplay&list=QL&index=3&playnext=3
        Dedicating this to you. Take a deep breath, sit back, close your eyes, and let this take you to a sweet place. FYI Chang Brothers, makes my blood boil. Also, much sympathy to those trying to make it back to Family for Spring Festival.

        • QuisTrollietIpsosTrolles

          Complete list of things better in Korea than China:
          1, http://www.youtube.com not blocked.

          I cannot deny that. You should work for the UN.

        • darkandlovelykissedbythe

          Might be able to find it unblocked. The artist is Roy Ayers, “Everybody loves the Sunshine.” Reading China Smack with a little Roy Ayers, Ronnie Laws, ect. thrown in.

    • CS

      the problem with korea is every person look like every other person. You guys have few different kind of faces and thats all. when u have a kid, too bad it doesnt look like any of the parents but i guess u guys will fix that =)

      • Kim Haneul

        The problem with China is every one looks ugly and dirty like everyone else. Haven’t you heard, bro? All Asians look alike. When you have a kid, it will be dirty and ugly just like you, and you can’t fix it because you can’t afford plastic surgery or clean water.

        • Sunni

          I hope we can all be grown ups here…… Chinese and Korean alike. Unless you’re actually literally a pre-teen, then I’ve got nothing to say.

          • Kim Haneul

            Obvious retard is obvious.

          • Sunni

            For your sake, the comments I’m about to make next will reflect your intelligence level:

            You jelly, brah? Come at me or fuck off, bitch.

    • John

      The problem with you is that you exist

    • Adam

      how to say in Korean “these people are born to shoot their own brothers and the South side is willing to become a good dog of the US military?”

    • http://www.matthewsawtell.com Matthew A. Sawtell

      Hm… looking to piss off the CCP and the Scientologists at the same time PLAYA?

    • Oscar

      Why all the Korean guys on the web are all like this asshole? is that because they are just born to be so?

  • cdn icehole

    Fuck. Totally insane.

  • Master C

    This is so shameful and 3rd World-like (just like lack of allodial titles or imposition of eminent domain laws instead of abolition of eminent domain).

    Solution :

    1) An entire annexe with amenities and perhaps state sponsored (meaning CHEAP like 1 yuan per hour cheap) sleep capsules for waiting passengers.

    2) A series of large LED road signs that say VACANT or NO-VACANCY with a NEXT TRAIN AT XX.XX time, on adjacent buildings up to 2 km away

    3) Triple the width of the trains and tracks (upgrade to maglevs?), not merely increase speed, sardines do not give the impression of development

    While retaining Economy Class Seats, also implement :

    4) Business Ticket Cars (6 adjoining seat space worth, allows people to stretch out and sleep, with retractible-foldable walls and seats)

    5) 1st Class Ticket Cars (6-8 rooms per car, with retractible-foldable walls and seats)

    6) VIP Cars (Entire car tickets, with retractible-foldable walls and seats)

    7) Separate Boarding Areas for each class

    This should prevent such reputation crushing crowds from building up. I am absolutely sure all state governments can be assigned the monies for the suggestions (1) and (2).

    Stadium form Annexes should be in the line of 50 million yuan each (no middlemen and bribes pls) at most. Don’t allow the train station to become a refugee camp whenever its the holidays, very undignifying to the nation and it’s people.

    Items 4, 5 and 6, since mass produced, use a faux renaissance Chinese art-deco scrollwork in wood and durable brass for example, no paper thin construction!

    Then travel by train will be something to be proud of and to experience too.

    • mankouzanghua

      i say they should build separate railroad tracks for migrant worker, student, business, 1st class, VIP, etc.

      have the railway stations for each at different locations throughout each city.

      your suggestions for amenities and sleep capsules can then be tailored to each class — for example, panda fur blankets in VIP capsules, elegant yellow weasel fur in migrant worker capsules, etc.

      spring rush crowding problem solved.

      • isenkrammer

        “panda fur blankets”

        L.O.L.

    • mistyken

      no sir, i think you are not looking at the root of the problem.
      yes, u can definitely build more tracks, longer trains, more facilities to handle the spring rush, but what would happen to those infrastructures after the spring rush is over? they would all be sitting there collecting dust looking like a ghost town.

      the underlying reason of why all these commotion occurs is that all these folks have to leave their home town to work in the south east area. All the jobs are in south east china, if that doesn’t change, the spring rush phenomenon will persist.

      so, the true solution to this problem is to develop the west so that these workers can find jobs not too far from their home and the will traveling remains more or less local. In the mean time, the government should subsidize airplane tickets and other means of travel which would be otherwise inaccessible to the migrant workers, so that they can utilize their transportation system to the fullest.

      • http://baihaifeng.blogspot.com Dr. Jones Jr.

        That might help somewhat, but I can assure you that the problem of Chun Yun exists throughout China. East to west, north to south, the infrastructure creaks throughout during this time.

        I think the best idea would be having the option of mandatory vacation days to spend any time in the year rather than mandatory vacation during national holidays. The current situation is partly due to mandatory vacation during national holidays being easier to enforce, but there you have it: China needing better bureaucracy and less corruptible supervision of adherence to law would surprise no one.

        The spring festival rush would still exist–still a favored time to visit family–but quite a few people would doubtlessly opt to visit family during other times, easing the monumental burden.

  • dude

    Two words : Family Planning? If even 1 child policy is not enough, maybe stop having kids altogether? i keed

    • Bo Wang

      One word: war.

      Perhaps China can join arms with our North Korean brothers and teach South Korean running dogs a lesson.

      • Sunni

        What does your comment have to do with anything?
        Is it so necessary for Asian countries to be so hostile towards each other?

      • justmega

        That’s just your excuse to get out and look at & count more circumcised penises. Mr Bo Wang=circumcision census taker. Is that what Bo Wang means in mandarin?

        • staylost

          Wang does mean penis in English… though I have no idea why.

      • cdn icehole

        And play into the hands of the Americans?

  • Genxi

    It’s sad to see Chinese and Korean people talking shit about each other, after all, we’re all Asians.

    • Chad

      9 times out of 10, I find it’s a Korean person starting the fight. Sigh. It makes no sense to me.

  • Peye

    I visited China as well as Korea. I found the people there friendly and helpful. Both of them have to cope with the ways handed to them by traditions and habits. It is not so easy to make go of it in seemingly overpopulated places that could be likened to a pressure cooker. But, I must give them all credit . How each nation in it’s own way, is handling the situation and through dedication and hard work are making the best of it, is truly remarkable. The saying”You have come a long way Baby” is in my opinion fitting in both cases.

  • http://www.matthewsawtell.com Matthew A. Sawtell

    Good Grief – what’s next about this event? An episode on “Great Migrations” on the NATGEO channel – with Richard Attenborough or Sigourney Weaver as the narrator?

    • Elijah

      “And here we have the Common chinese. Far from being a rare species, the fame associated with the Common chinese is in fact derived from it’s massive population. As you can see here, one of the great migrations is about to commence where hundreds of millions of the species vie for their spot. Their destination? None other than the original nesting spot they were born in. Join as we take a closer look into the strange word where sheer numbers rule supreme.”

      -Sir David Attenborough

      *Cue National Geographic music*

      • Fman

        That was awesome!!!! I’m inclined to agree, animals migrate, people travel and this is a migration!! I’ve been through 5 years of this crap, I traveled the first year, BIG mistake, went to my wifes home town the second year BIGGER mistake, now I stay put and let GZ get deserted!!

      • http://www.matthewsawtell.com Matthew A. Sawtell

        Thanks Elijah, that what I was thinking about. Cripes – I could see someone making a spoof video on YouTube.

  • Jess

    It kinda reminds me of Indonesia, where people would sit atop trains once the carriages become overcrowded. Sounds safe to me~
    In Korea nowadays, I think more people are just using the holiday to go overseas, rather than following the proper traditions. My sister-in-law wants to go to the Philippines and play golf. Weird…

  • 水溶C100

    Li Gang’s son got six years in prison.

    See here.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/31/world/asia/31china.html?hp

    • Jess

      What happen, I thought his father was Li Gang?!

      • Fman

        we’ll see pictures of him in a couple of months here on ChinaSmack of him in some western country having fun while the state media reports he is enduring hell in prison (to keep the ignorant masses appeased)

    • staylost

      Do Chinese prisons have marauding vigilante gangs in their prisons? Is baby Li Gang going to get thrashed while in the slammer?

      • staylost

        Oh, and according to that story the court reduced the prison time because Li Gang bribed the slaughtered girls family. What does paying off a family have to do with justice for a dead person?

        • Of Canada

          and only 70,000$ Is that how much a life is worth? At least he is getting fair jail time. I would say justice was finally served dute to the publicity and outrage over that case.

          • cdn icehole

            In China, $70K is a lot of money to an average joe. In Vietnam, the person at fault is only responsible to pay a maximum of $3K USD provided the victim is dead. If the victim is maimed then the person at fault must take care of the victim for life. I also think the Philippines have a similar rule.

    • dude

      I hope he is made a bitch and asked everyday,”Who’s your daddy now?”

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  • dylan

    birds fly to warmer places in the winter, so do chinese harder workers

  • HansDampf

    it’s so simple – don’t go home!
    and no, CNY is not that sacred, for nobody, damn it

    • dylan

      CNY is probably the only holiday those workers can enjoy during the whole year, and they deserved reunion with their families after one year’s endless hard work.
      Moreover, in old days, people will make ceremonies to honour their ancestor, praying for good luck and health next year, which is the most important thing for chinese people.
      It is an unavoidable situation that happens every year, u cannot do anything to change the tradition.

      • staylost

        These traditions are valuable as they hold up the framework of a good society. Traditions, morals, cultural practices, they are all, at their best, ways of ingraining what it means to live a good life. Without them, I find, we are most often greedy selfish little people who may from time to time profess good intent.

        Certain customs are harmful and should be trimmed back, but love of family and celebration of ancestors are morals likely to help create a powerful & good society.

        Though I have never had to suffer through Chun Yun, I think that CNY is a work of beauty. It shows the massive sacrifice that Chinese people put up with, just to enjoy the smiles of their family.

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  • Chris

    Ridiculous…….here is an idea, don’t go home!

  • john digmeme

    I’m not understanding why people all have to go home at the same time – there are, most likely, elaborate celebrations in the towns these folks are escaping from. Normally, I’ll pick either Thanksgiving or Christmas to go home. Is it more difficult to leave work when there isn’t a holiday? I would think employers would be happy to stagger breaks for their employees. At my job, my boss wants us to apply for breaks far in advance to avoid too many people leaving at the same time.

    A story: I was traveling in China back during the 2007 year of the pig spring festival, and I had to go to the PSB in Chengdu to get a visa extension early because they close the PSB for new years LOL!! Unfortunately, I was really in a hurry to do my route but had to hunker down and wait for the festival to finish. It was really a great time, I was staying near the Wenshu Yuan monastery and the authorities shut down all the streets in the old city, set up food stalls along the streets. Fried rice inside a bamboo stalk (I ate like 5 a day), goat meat kabobs (from the west) – just the most delicious food from around the country making its way to the center.
    Although I ended up having to take a 22 hour bus to Lijiang at the end, (having missed my opportunities to travel the area during the two weeks surrounding the festival) it was awesome. I didn’t have a family with me, but still enjoyed myself. It seemed relatively empty at the time and now I can imagine half the population of Chengdu escaped to the countryside. I don’t think it would have been too bad if some decided to stay behind.

    • Adam

      I think in constrast…just like Christmas in the West, everyone has to be with the family for the Christmas dinner? Who would want to stay at work on the Christmas day!

      • john digmeme

        Yeah, I just talked to a Malaysian Chinese girl who told me it’s like Christmas for a whole week, and it’s the best time to reunite with school friends who have grown up and gone their separate ways.

        Yeah, can’t imagine working on Christmas day. But, do I have to go home to eat dinner with my family? Nope. Please. Spare me.

  • John

    Surely infrastructure is right up there as evidence for why Communism is load of bollocks. I’m assuming that the government deals with it or rather is unable to deal with it. Privatization, while introducing its own problems (I’m British and I’ve seen them after going through this), allows for entrepreneurs to plug the gaps (in China more like great chasms) or opportunities as they would see them.
    Leaders will plod along and deal with the problems eventually (they have much smaller incentives than compared to business owners) but I expect that without even a shadow government to stand there criticising the situation is even worse!
    I hear that public transport is crammed to bursting daily let alone the at the time of the world’s largest human seasonal migration.

  • McCurry

    The main problem here isn’t the so called tradition or anything. It is about these poor migrate workers that work their ass off all year, and only get Spring Festival off.

    It is like a prisoners stuck in prison for the whole year, and only get couple of days to go out and do whatever, what do you think they’re going to do? stay in the prison?

    If say, they get a week off during the summer, I bet this would greatly decrease the congestion of Chun Yun. Remember most of these workers don’t get to see their family all year (or two)

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  • http://www,Tejaswy,com Tejaswy

    Nice pics……..Well taken

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  • Qiao

    In the hearts of Chinese people, ‘HOME’ is such a sacred place full of love, warmth, safty, and spiritual relaxation. Reunion with family for Chinese Spring Festival has the same meaning as the one for Westerners’ Christmas. This deep drive excels anything else!

    And another reason why people have to choose these days going home, because for most of migrant workers, this is their only chance every year.

  • Liz K.

    there was a recent documentary on this topic called “The Last Train Home”.

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  • QuisTrollietIpsosTrolles

    One man’s being trolled is another man’s excuse to rip on Koreans and feel justified in it. Maybe I was trolled, but if this is what being trolled is, I should do it on a daily basis.

  • Kim Haneul

    I dunno if you’ve been living under a box or not, but in our day and age, beauty on the outside is all that matters.

    You’ll never make it to the point where a pretty korean girl will have your kid, because our womans will not touch you with a 10 foot pole. But, I guess, hypothetically you do. Then, are you too poor to afford the surgery she can afford for your kid or are you Chinamen that poor or just cheap as fuck?

    Also, Flash may not be a looker, but I can guarantee you, the things he’s accomplished at 15, you’ll never do. And, may I add any girl, choosing between him and you… again won’t touch you.

    You may be a troll, but not a very good one. Leave it to the pros, bro.

  • QuisTrollietIpsosTrolles

    If Korean women would choose Flash over not just me, but any other man who has better things to do in life than play twelve year old foreign computer games until he is the best at it, then Korean women are more pathetic than I thought. Most women outside of Korea would rather a man who spends his time in prison than playing Starcraft.

    Also, if you think I would cut my hypothetical half Korean daughter’s face to look like a Wonder Girl if I had the money, you are perverted. But then again, you would probably do that, then cut your son’s dick skin off too.

  • Kim Haneul

    “If Korean women would choose Flash over not just me, but any other man who has better things to do in life than play twelve year old foreign computer games until he is the best at it, then Korean women are more pathetic than I thought.”

    I have to discount this statement. I clearly stated ANY girl, not just Korean would choose Flash instead of you, and I mentioned specifically Flash not every guy that plays Starcraft, you dumb Chinese. And I think I have to add, you isn’t plural in this sentence. You is just specifically you, the idiot I’m replying to.

  • cdn icehole

    I think the Indians claim that prize due to their social structure.

  • Chad

    It’s still very openly expressed over the internet as long as anonymity is guaranteed lol. I’m not sure that’s any better…

  • Of Canada

    I thought it was illegal for missionaries to work in China? Certainly I welcomed their absence while I was there. But from what I hear most other asian countries are overrun with them. If it was allowed, I think Chinese could easily be convinced to convert to Christianity and catholicism, already so many have. Unfortunately.

  • donscarletti

    GuoBao2: Male circumcision is practiced in Judaism and Islam, Koreans and Americans generally follow neither. The Americans believed that it was cleaner and prevented infection, the Koreans followed suit. Neither of them were commanded by God to do it. When I was born, it was suggested that I should be circumcised for cultural reasons to “be like my father”, my mother said that my father and I would not be regularly comparing dicks, so that was that.

    Of Canada: What’s wrong with telling people about your beliefs? I’ve been to Canada, what I saw is that Canadians generally believe in freedom of religion and freedom of speech. As many people have suggested, you should change your nickname since you lose face for your nation.

  • http://baihaifeng.blogspot.com Dr. Jones Jr.

    Outside the Great Firewall. I suggest getting a portable hole-in-the-wall.

  • Eidolon

    You mean welcome to the Korean troll complex. Pusan Playa played you all, I’m afraid.

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