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What Happens When All Of China Goes On Vacation At Once?
A nearly 3 billion travel rush ends the annual Spring Festival in China (CCSS Level: Grade 9, Words: 345)
Feb 21, 2017 Culture & Entertainment
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In terms of raw numbers in almost every category, the Chun Jie (Chinese New Year Spring Festival) is the largest human event on the planet.

In the seven days of public holiday 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) and buy railway tickets online at a rate of more than 1,000 per second.

In 2017, the Year of the Rooster, Chinese authorities expect holidaymakers to make nearly 3 billion trips by land, 356 million by rail, 58 million by plane and 43 million by sea over the 40 day period, which begin on January 13 and last until February 21, the Ministry of Transport said.

The 40 days travel frenzy is know as "Chunyun" (the annual spring migration and the hectic period surrounding it). Spring Festival is the country's most important family holiday, with hundreds of millions of people heading to their hometowns to meet relatives and old friends, which puts huge stress on the transport system. But it's when millions of Chinese people go home during "Chunyun" that China's flair for organisation on a massive scale really comes into its own.

While the average individual trip last year was about 410 km, the total number of trips is expected to reach 1.2 billion km (745 million miles) the equivalent of eight time the distance from Earth to the Sun or a leisurely rocket ride to Saturn.

And numbers are growing, this year up by 2.2%. "Chinese people have never been more affluent and keen to travel, nor have there ever been more migrant workers in cities far from home. Every year, stress on the transport system becomes greater and greater, despite great improvement in infrastructure over the last year", says the state council of the People's Republic of China.

To reduce crowds during the rush and to boost transport efficiency, China has been stepping up construction of high-speed railways, which exceeded 20,000 km in total length this year, the world's longest high-speed railway system.

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aid

help


n,v.援助

an-nu-al

happening every year


adj.年度/全年

au-thor

a writer of a book or report


n.作者

au-tho-ri-ties

people having the power to control a situation


n.当局

bil-lion

a very large number, equal to 10^9


No.十亿

con-struc-tion

something built by hand


n.施工

de-spite

in spite of


preposition.尽管

ex-pec-ted

something seen as likely to happen


v.预期

fes-ti-val

a day or time when people have a holiday and celebrate a special event


n.节日

flu-ent

(of a person) able to express oneself easily and articulately


adj.流利

im-prove

get better


v.提高/改善

in-di-vi-dual

single, one


adj.个人/个体

in-fra-struc-ture

the physical things needed to run a society (buildings, power and so on)


n.基础设施

lei-sure

free time


n.闲暇

lu-nar

to do with the moon    


adj.月的/阴历

mas-sive

huge, very big

 


adj.大规模的 

mi-gra-tion

movement of animals from one place to another


n.移民

on-line

while connected to a computer


adv.线上

re-la-tives

people connected with us


n.亲戚们

Sat-urn

the sixth planet from the sun in the solar system, circled by a system of broad, flat rings


n.土星

scale

the size of something


n.规模

spring

a material that returns to its shape after pressed or stretched


n.弹簧

stem

the main body or stalk of a plant or shrub, usually rising above ground


n.干茎