In mainland china, a total of almost three billion Chinese travelled by car, train and aeroplane to celebrate the Lunar New Year with their families in what is now the world’s largest annual human migration as of Tuesday, February 5.
The Lunar New Year is the central holiday of the Chinese calendar where families hold traditional dinners, visitations to temples to honour deities and open-handedly offer gifts to loved ones filled with wishes for good luck.
According to the authorities, an average of 1.77 million international trips will be expected a day starting this week, an 8.9 percent increase compared with last year’s records, also the busiest holiday tallied today.
This illustrates that despite a slackening economy, Chinese booked family trips abroad and even the working class consistently filed a vacation leave in advance to celebrate the holidays. Countries which are included on the A- list of top destinations are Thailand, Japan
Celebrations in major Chinese cities like Beijing and Shanghai were quieter unlike last year’s loud merriments. This is in accordance with the injunction of authorities to ban firecrackers and fireworks on the peak of the festival to prevent pollution and implement safety concerns.
Festivities will take place across countries from major celebrants in Southeast Asian Countries where centuries of old Chinese communities live, down to the more sophisticated Chinese population in Chinatowns of Sydney, London, Vancouver, and Los Angeles. Parades and lion dances will also cram the cities of London and New York as part of Chinese tradition.
In Hong Kong, markets were filled with buyers who picked out flowers like orchids, mandarins, and peach blossoms as gifts for good fortune as well as for home decorations. While thousands of incense-carrying people stayed overnight to offer prayers at the famous Wong Tai Sin Temple, a landmark where first prayers are being whispered.
Meanwhile in Japan, Tokyo Tower, the country’s capital will participate on the said festival by turning the building into bright red – a first for the city.
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-Wen expressed her traditional new-year greeting in five Chinese dialects: Mandarin, Taiwanese, Hakka, Teochew and Cantonese on her social media accounts. There she proudly announced that they were able to maintain cultural traditions and customs in Taiwan.
These Chinese communities all over the world unite for a major celebration once a year with one main aspiration – to wish us a happy and a prosperous year ahead.