China Celebrates Start of Lunar New Year Holiday Period; Record Breaking Number of Trips to be Made

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A huge lantern in the shape of a dragon is lit in Beijing on Friday evening.

BEIJING — The Lunar New Year holiday period began in China on Saturday.

A huge lantern in the shape of a dragon, the Chinese zodiac sign for the new lunar year, was lit at a tourist spot in Beijing where restaurants line the lakeside on Friday evening, attracting many citizens and visitors celebrating the new year.

The Lunar New Year holiday period is considered the most important vacation period in China, during which many people return to their hometowns or go on a vacation.

The Chinese government said that an estimated 9 billion trips, including those by private cars, will be made during the 40 days surrounding the holiday period.

It also said the total number of passenger trips using public transportation is estimated to reach 1.8 billion during the same period, down 14% from the previous year, due to the economic downturn.