PICS: China greets Lunar New Year with celebrations, travel rush

2019-02-01 20:00
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A man takes a nap as travelers wait for their trains at the South Train Station in Beijing, Friday, Feb. 1, 2019. China is greeting the lunar new year with celebrations and a travel rush that will see an estimated 3 billion trips by people around the country. This year is the year of the pig in the 12-year Chinese astrological cycle and waves farewell to the year of the dog. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

China is greeting next week's Lunar New Year with celebrations and a travel rush that will see an estimated 3 billion trips by people around the country.

Thousands of passengers toted bundles of clothes and gifts at Beijing train station Friday, ahead of the most important holiday on the Chinese calendar. It's a time for people to return to their hometowns to reunite with family and friends.

"Wow, there's a lot of people," Li Pingping, a beauty salon worker from Henan province, said as she steeled herself for a 17-hour train ride home.

The year of the pig in the 12-year Chinese astrological cycle starts Tuesday, waving farewell to the year of the dog.

On the festival's eve, people gather for reunion dinners, give red packets of pocket money to youngsters and light firecrackers at midnight.

The capital, Beijing, and other cities are festooned with lanterns and other decorations to mark the holiday, which is also celebrated in Vietnam and by ethnic Chinese communities around Asia.

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A man takes a nap as travelers wait for their traiA man wheels his belongings to catch his train at the South Train Station in Beijing. (Photo: Andy Wong, AP)

A man takes a nap as travelers wait for their traiHundreds of travellers wait for their trains at the South Train Station in Beijing. (Photo: Andy Wong, AP)

A man takes a nap as travelers wait for their traiA woman reacts as she and travellers wait for their trains at the South Train Station in Beijing. (Photo: Andy Wong, AP)

A man takes a nap as travelers wait for their traiA man takes a nap as travellers wait for their trains at the South Train Station in Beijing, Friday, 1 February 2019. (Photo: Andy Wong, AP)

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