Our Privacy Statement & Cookie Policy

By continuing to browse our site you agree to our use of cookies, revised Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can change your cookie settings through your browser.

I agree

Spring Festival soiree: From nationwide celebrations to record-breaking travel


 , Updated 16:29, 05-Feb-2024
People buy Spring Festival decorations in Zhuhai City, south China's Guangdong Province, January 30, 2024. /CFP
People buy Spring Festival decorations in Zhuhai City, south China's Guangdong Province, January 30, 2024. /CFP

People buy Spring Festival decorations in Zhuhai City, south China's Guangdong Province, January 30, 2024. /CFP

Red lanterns, Year of the Dragon decorations and festive music booming from every corner serve as reminders that the Chinese Lunar New Year is just days away. Holiday activities and celebrations are in full swing in cities across China.

People reuniting with families and friends will make about nine billion trips by road, air, and rail during the Spring Festival travel rush.

The travel rush, usually a period of high transportation demand as people return home for family reunions, will last from January 26 to March 5 this year, while the Spring Festival itself will fall on February 10.

When we celebrate

To many Chinese, the most important cultural tradition of the Chinese New Year, or the Spring Festival, is the family reunion. But uniting with the family is just the beginning, as many more traditions follow.

Giving cash in red envelopes (hongbao), making dumplings, lighting fireworks and staying up on New Year's Eve, also known as shousui, are all Chinese New Year customs.

The Spring Festival Gala, also known as "Chunwan," has taken place every year since 1983 and is still an indispensable part of the celebrations for the Chinese people to ring in the Chinese New Year.

The gala is a four and half-hour-long comprehensive TV art show consisting of singing and dancing, opera, sketch comedy, crosstalk, martial arts and acrobatics. Discussing and debating the performances are popular pastimes for the Chinese people during Lunar New Year's Eve. Many performances have left indelible memories for generations of the Chinese people, including punchlines in the sketch comedies that became public catchphrases overnight.

Temple fairs are popular activities in many parts of China during the Chinese New Year celebration, often consisting of a variety of snacks and small goods for sale and amusement programs.

This year, iconic temple fairs at Ditan Park, Longtan Park, Changdian and Badachu Park are set to be fully restored in Beijing. Traditional flower exhibitions and various park activities will grace venues such as the Summer Palace, Zhongshan Park, Yuyuantan Park and Hongluo Temple.

A national online Spring Festival shopping season aimed at boosting the country's efforts in promoting consumption kicked off on January 18, said Commerce Ministry spokesperson He Yadong at a recent press conference. The shopping season will last for the entire Spring Festival holiday, which runs until February 17. 

The shopping season integrates online promotion activities from various localities, e-commerce platforms and shops, catering to consumer activities related to the Year of the Dragon.

Hit the road

A record-high nine billion trips are expected during the ongoing annual Spring Festival travel rush as people across China prepare to enjoy family reunion moments.

Li Hongyuan, a father with two children, said he expects to enjoy the family reunion dinner at the Spring Festival Eve in his hometown in Zhengzhou City, central China's Henan Province. Though it will take him seven to eight hours to drive from Beijing to his hometown, Li said it'll be worth it for the family reunion dinner.

Some Chinese choose to enjoy a family trip to celebrate the New Year Festival. Wang Wenqing, 32, who was born in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, chose to take his parents to travel to northeast China's Harbin City, one of the hottest tourism destinations this winter.

As people's tourism preferences and experiences evolve, the traditional practice of exclusively returning home for this grand holiday is no longer the sole focus. An increasing number of individuals opt to celebrate the Spring Festival by traveling to various destinations, creating cherished moments with their families through enjoyable leisure activities. 

As a leading indicator of festivities, China's railway system has seen a surge in ticket sales, with about 230 million tickets sold since January 12, a notable year-on-year increase, data from the national railway operator showed.

With the record-high migration unfolding, this year's Spring Festival holiday is set to involve not only a stunning number of people traveling but also a vibrant consumption revival boosted by the prosperous tourism market, providing new momentum to the country's economic recovery.

Search Trends