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What happens when all Chinese head for home

In terms of raw numbers in almost every category, the Chinese New Year Spring Festival is the largest human event on the planet. In the seven days of the Lunar New Year, Chinese are expected to spend more than $100 billion on eating and shopping (almost twice as much as Americans spend on Thanksgiving).

就数据而言,从各方面来讲,春节都是地球上最大规模的人类活动。而在7天的假期中,中国人大约要在饮食和购物上花掉1000亿美元,几乎是美国人在感恩节上花销的两倍。

But it's when millions of Chinese people go home for the Chinese New Year Spring Festival during "chunyun" — the annual spring migration — that China's flair for organization on a gargantuan scale really comes into its own.

但是,当成千上万的中国人为了过春节而回家时,春运——每年一次的春季迁徙——就显示出了中国人超强的组织能力。

While the average individual trip last year was about 410 kilometers, the total number of trips is expected to reach 1.2 billion kilometers: the equivalent of eight times the distance from Earth to the Sun or a leisurely rocket ride to Saturn.

去年,平均下来每个人的旅行路程是410公里,总计可能达到12亿公里。啥概念?就是地球与太阳距离的8倍,或者坐火箭去土星。

The "chunyun" phenomenon isn't just a marvel of logistics — bus and railway ticket halls can clear massive lines at breakneck speed — it also shows how modern China is changing. Trains are sardine-packed with thousands of snoozing students, reflecting education reforms that have greatly expanded the number of university places over the past decade.

春运不仅仅是物流的奇迹——巴士和铁路的售票大厅可以非常迅速地清空一列列旅客——这也反映出中国正在变得现代化。列车上打盹儿的背包学生,则反映出教育改革的成果,过去十年来高等学府越来越多。

The tides of Chunyun typically have two peaks. As this year's Spring Festival falls on Jan. 28, the peaks are expected on Jan. 25 when people leave for home and on Feb. 2 when they return for work. College students and 270 million migrant workers are the main travelers. 

春运有两次人潮高峰。1月28日是春节的第一天,高峰期预计在1月25日出现,这一天,人们动身回家过年,第二个高峰期是2月2日,人们要回去上班。大学生和2.7亿农民工是主要的春运旅客。

As for the direction of the flow, people generally move from the country's booming eastern and southern coasts, as well as Beijing, to inland cities, towns, and villages before the new year. A reverse trend occurs about a week after the holiday. 

至于节前春运主要方向,基本上也是从我国东部和南部沿海以及北京等经济发达地区,走向内陆城镇村庄。大概一周后便是节后返程高峰期。

Source: CNN

2017-01-19

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