Chinese New Year Transportation: Chunyun

Chinese New Year is the longest national holiday in China, this holiday has thousands years of history and it is a tradition that people will try to get to their family reunion by New Year’s Eve no matter how far they are away. Therefore, there will be a rush, lasting more than a month or so, before and after this holiday in trains, planes and automobiles, which called “chunyun”—Chinese New year’s transportation.

According to Dexter Roberts, 3.6 billion passenger trips, which is more than 50 per cent of Chinese total population, will be made on planes, trains and vehicles this holiday season. Can you imagine what kind of rush it will be when this vast majority transported during only 40 days?


Among all the transportations, train is the most traditional and crowded because many migrant workers and students who are the majority of “chunyun” are rarely to afford more expensive plane tickets. However, there is a big gap between railway capacity and demands. That means not all the people can get a train ticket during this period. As a Chinese, I understand how hard it is to buy a train ticket during Chinese New Year. Every New Year, mom and I will have to get tickets a half of month in advance or the tickets will be quickly sold out.

Recent years, Chinese government has some new policies in New Year’s transportation. For example, people can use their personal identification card to buy tickets online. In this way, people don’t have to wait in a long line in front of the ticket window. This policy make buying tickets faster, however, it’s unfair to people who are inaccessible to Internet. In my opinion, government should limit the train tickets sold online, so it can make sure that other people can get tickets form the ticket window.


Roberts, Dexter. “China’s Massive Spring Festival Travel Forecast: 3.6 Billion Passenger Trips.” Bloomberg Business Week. Bloomberg, 16 Jan. 2014. Web. 3 May 2014. <>.