China: mass travel ahead of Year of the Snake celebrations

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China: mass travel ahead of Year of the Snake celebrations

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Hundreds of millions of Chinese are on the move, heading home for their new year celebrations later this week.

Beijing’s main train station is packed with travellers hoping to get ahead of forecast rain and snow falls, threatening to disrupt travel.

Some young people at the station are optimistic about the upcoming Year of the Snake, despite challenging economic times.

“Last year I found it difficult to make money. My wages were not very high. They were pretty low. But life is not so tough. I am happy with what I have,” said chef Zhang Yulong.

Construction projects manager Miao Xiaoqing was promoted last year, but is focused on family for the next:

“I hope most for good health, a happy family and to give birth to a “Snake” baby,” she said.

The Year of the Dragon makes way for the Year of the Snake on 10 February, and the mass migration is already in full flow.

Many of China’s 1.3 billion people work in big cities hundreds of kilometres from their hometowns.

The week-long festival is often the only time in the year that whole families get together.