spring festival return home

Great Migration Home



lunar scatter migration
unite annual reunite
rural boom (2) massive
resist means at my disposal
tow festival disposal
crowd crush (2) highway
hitch surreal audience
loud scale (3) envelope
cash mean (3) traditional
eve spend (2) broadcast
fill up extend Super Bowl










It’s the largest annual, human migration in the world.

Each year, between late January and early February, hundreds of millions of Chinese people head home for the country’s biggest holiday: the Lunar New Year.

Also called the Spring Festival, it’s the one time each year when families scattered across the country reunite.

And to get to one another, China sees a travel boom on a massive scale.

The government expects 2.9 billion trips to be made across the country, travelers using every means at their disposal to make it home: airports and railway stations get absolutely crushed with people, suitcases and gifts for their families in tow.

Highways fill up with those wealthy enough to own their own cars; and those who aren’t crowd buses and hitch rides on motorcycles, sometimes traveling for days.

Here in Beijing alone, about 42 million trips in and out of the city are expected to be made.

During the holidays, the normally loud and busy streets of Beijing become noticeably — and almost surreally — quiet.

The annual migration has boomed right along with China’s economy over the past 30 years.

Factory towns needed workers, with most coming from China’s rural villages. Hundreds of millions of people spend the year away from their families — but the pull of home during the holiday is something few can resist.

Once home, traditional dinners are held, and Chinese children receive little red envelopes, filled with cash called “lucky money.”

On Lunar New Year’s eve, roughly 700 million people watch a celebration broadcast on state TV — that’s an audience of more than six times bigger than last year’s Super Bowl.

And after the Spring Festival ends, most people return to work, and cities like Beijing fill right back up.

Though there are many people who take extended holidays, the Lunar New Year holiday runs less than 10 days, but the peak travel period lasts for nearly six weeks.

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1. Summertime is main part of the year when families get together in China. Yes or no?

2. Do people travel only by train?

3. Approximately how many people travel during this time? What is the general direction of the movement of people?

4. How do people celebrate the Spring Festival?

5. What happens after the New Year?

6. What is the transportation business or system like during an entire year?


A. What is the biggest or most important holiday in your country?

B. How do people celebrate it? What do people do?

C. Do people visit their families every year? How often do people visit or reunite with their families?

D. Is there a migration pattern in your country?

E. My friend and I would rather live in village. Yes or no? Would your friends rather live in the city, a town, village, or farm?


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