Chinese New Year motivates the largest annual migration in the world

The Lantern Festival has been modernized; plastic and LED lights replaced silk and paper. The train is the preferred means of transportation for Chinese people.

Chinese New Year motivates the largest annual migration in the world
Chinese New Year inspires the largest annual migration in the world. Photo by Humphrey Muleba / Unsplash

Just in the first three days of this year's Spring Festival or Chinese New Year, approximately 74 million 860 thousand trips were registered, made by the same number of people who sought to get home, assured Rebeca Ruíz Contreras, an academic from the National School of Languages, Linguistics and Translation (ENALLT) of the UNAM.

In 2019, 415 million traveled, a figure higher than other mobilizations such as the Kumbhamela, the Indian pilgrimage to holy places with 150 million people. During the New Year's Eve and Thanksgiving holidays in the United States, 115.6 million and 55.3 million trips were made, respectively.

With a history of more than four thousand years, it is the most important traditional celebration in China and several Asian countries. According to the lunar calendar, in 2022 it occurred on February 1; it is a celebration that lasts 15 days.

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Mexico, Ruíz Contreras stressed that on the Spring Festival people need the railway network to reach their destination. "It would seem that with the infrastructure that China has that would not be a problem, but it is because the number of people moving is enormous, surprising."

A significant number buy tickets seven or eight months in advance. Although there are other means of transportation, such as automobiles, buses or airplanes, the most requested service is the train, since it offers a more effective service.

Even though seats are numbered, there is saturation; the important thing is to get there and it doesn't matter how. What is important is to taste the food of home, that seasoning that cannot be found anywhere else, the food of the mother or grandmother, no matter what is on the plate, and the family atmosphere.

Also, the millenary commemoration yuán xiāo jié or Lantern Festival, in which there are luminaries, fireworks, and full moon. It is joyful, visual, has evolved over two thousand years of history; today it has been modernized and has too much light. It is not a day of rest, but it is festive, where many families celebrate.

It is celebrated on the 15th day of the first month of the calendar called lunisolar or of the first full moon of the Chinese New Year. The yearbook takes into account its phases (new, full), but also the 24 solar terms related to the movement of the Earth and the seasons of the year.

Another important part is the fireworks. In several cities, an attractive part of the festivity is to admire the lanterns or lanterns that used to be made of paper and silk, and today are made of plastic and LED lights. The Chinese New Year, which began recently, is the 4720th year of the tiger, and the Lantern Festival marks the end of the chūn yùn, that is to say, of the festivities.